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TOHSHINDEN 3: Exclusive PlayStation screens • WIN! A $16,000 game school scholarship 





PlayStatioi 

Which videogame system is the best? Which console 
should you buy? PlayStation, Saturn, and Nintendo 64 
each claims to be number one. But which packs the 
hardest gaming punch? And which console will really 
go the distance? The gloves come off on page 38... 


























opening 



ZHMZim 


As long as there is no unified 
format for videogame playing, choosing which 
to buy wrill be tough. Obviously, it’s all about 
playing the hottest games. But when buying a 
new videogame system, you need to be sure 
that it Drill not only meet your gaming needs 
today, but also tomorrow — and for years to 
come. The road videogaming has taken to the 
64-bit and 32-bit superconsoles of 1996 is 
littered urith the burned-out husks of consoles 
that couldn’t go the distance. lust ask anyone 
who bought a 3D0 Multiplayer, Atari Jaguar, 
Virtual Boy, or TurboGrafxl6. 


So in picking a new machine, gamers need 
to understand the business issues that can 
lead to a machine’s success or failure. 
Questions that gamers must ask include: 
What’s under the hood? Where did it come 
from? How committed is the manufacturer to 
its console’s success? How many have been 
sold already? How is the console being 
marketed? Have games on this system gotten 
as good as they’re going to get, or will they 
continue to improve? 


All the data you need to make an informed 
decision begins on page 38. 


he PC and Mac are great game 
machines, but the dedicated gamer 
often feels obligated to bolster his 
set-up urith a game console. Of 
course, the big question is “Which 
one?” The good news is that this 
month’s CO is packed with over 
600MB of game demos and 
previews — information to make 
your final decision a more 
informed, rational choice. 












December 1996 


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Editorial Contributors 

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Next Generation (ISSN# 1078-9693) is published 
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Entire contents copyright 1996, 

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Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is 
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“Patches? We don't need no 
stinkio' patches'" We will not 
be denied our masthead, 

one of nature's most miraculous 
little mistakes. Able by a freak 
of genetics to cheat entropy and 
Darwin, they actually produce 
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Bulk Rate 
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Permit No. 161 



Did You Know that Sega was 
Founded by an American? 

It’s true. The Japanese gaming giant was actually the 
brainchild of David Rosen, an American ex-airman trying to 
make a living after the Korean War. This is his story 



Atari’s Historic Road 
to Nowhere 

Atari is dead. Now Don Thomas, the former “Voice of Atari,” 
tells the insider’s story of the death of the American 
company that first started the videogame ball bouncing 



The Big Fight — Nintendo 64 vs PlayStation vs Sega Saturn 

Which console is really the best? Which system should you buy? With all three heavyweights finally in the ring, this holiday 
season will witness the most important battle the game industry has ever fought NG steps in to referee 



The Future Sound of Game Music 

For years, game music has been nothing but a bland collection of bleeps and blips. This is now changing, as a new generation of 
musicians take advantage of the storage medium of CDs to open up a bold new aural world. So who’s writing the songs? 





























6 talking 


14 breaking 


38 ng hardware 


The Big Fight 

So many systems, so little cash — so which console 
is worth your hard-earned bucks this holiday season? 


84 ng special 


The Future Sound of Game Music 

Perhaps it was inevitable that as gaming embraced 
CD technology, game music would benefit most 


97 ng special 


introducing 


Did You Know that Sega was 
Founded by an American? 

Sega founder and co-Chairman David Rosen speaks 


News 

All the latest information from the world of gaming 
24 Arcadia (coin-op news and updates) 

26 Generator (word from the developers) 

28 Movers ’n’ Shakers (business news) 

30 Joyriding (online gaming news) 


Finals 

The games you should pass on, the games you should 
give as gifts, and the ones you should keep yourself. 
Including: Soviet Strike (PlayStation); Daggerfall (PC); 
Fighting Vipers (Saturn); X-Men Vs. Street Fighter (Arcade) 


Letters 

Yet more words of wisdom from our dedicated, 
argumentative, and — yes — smart readers 


Play the games, then get the job (although it does 
help to have a background in programming and CGI) 


Finals: 33 games reviewed Next month... 

Many are called but few are chosen — at least by us. Every month, NG reviews each and Next Generation #25 arrives on newsstands on 

every major new game release, so you know which are the classics, and which are the duds December 17. Find out how to subscribe on page 144 


News 

Report from the Tokyo Toy Show • Konami and Capcom shine at the JAM MA arcade show 
Nintendo 64DD takes another step towards online gaming • Plus all the regular columns 


Atari’s Historic Road to Nowhere 

NG respectfully presents a first-hand report on the 
death of the company that started videogaming 


Alphas 

Previewed here is every game we could get our 
hands on: Pitfall 3D, Oddworld (PlayStation); Daytona 
CCE (Saturn); Ecstatica 2, Cloak (PC); Street Fighter EX 
(Arcade); Dual Heroes, J2 Wonder Project (N64) 


112 ending 


281 corresponding 


110 now hiring 


Alphas: 24 games previewed 

In the end, it’s all about games — and we’ve got loads of ’em. Thirty-five pages on twenty- 
four games, including: Toshinden 3, Daytona CCE, Street Fighter EX, Ecstatica 2, and more 


Save cash and time 

Folks, we’re telling ya, subscribing is just that easy 


247 rating 


Gallery 

Back by popular demand, some of gaming’s best art 


123 ng software 


111 viewing 


144 subscribing 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


























































Sega is known thr< 

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Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 










talking 


II videogame players know that 
Sega, like Nintendo and Sony, is a 
Japanese company. But very few 
people know that Sega was 
founded by an American ex- 
Airman who found himself in Japan 
in the early 1950s, after the Korean War. 

Rosen’s story would still be interesting if it was 
only about establishing Sega as a world power in 
videogames. Instead, Rosen’s story is intertwined 
with Japan’s. And the rise of Sega mirrors the 
recovery of Japan from the economic mess it 
found itself in after World War II. 

Rosen is still co-Chairman of Sega Enterprises, 
and yet a private man with no desire for publicity 
— he seldom meets with the press. However, he 
agreed to meet with Next Generation to 
discuss Sega’s legacy as an entertainment empire. 

Sega photo booths? 

NG: How did you get started in Japan? 

David: From 1949 to 1952, during the Korean 
War, I was in the U.S. Air Force, and I travelled 
around. I started in Shanghai in China, I was in 
Korea during the war, but most of my time was 
spent in Japan. After the war, I started a company 
in Japan called Rosen Enterprises Ltd. This first 
business actually involved art — which is about as 
far from the current business as you could be. 

At that point in time, the Japanese had a great 
need for ID photos. You needed an ID photo for 
school applications, for rice ration cards, for 
railway cards, and for employment. My idea was 
to adapt and import those little automated photo 
booths from the U.S. to Japan. 

NG: Was the Japanese government as anti foreign 
business then as it has become since? 

David: I don’t think Japan’s ever really been anti 
foreign business — then or now. 

NG: But was it difficult to expand your business? 
David: You would go crazy with the regulations 
imposed upon businesses! But I don’t think they 
necessarily targeted foreigners. 

In the years after World War II, Japan had no 
dollars — unlike today. So if you wanted to 
import any product into Japan [and hence spend 
dollars], you needed a license. And that license 
application went through MITI (Ministry of 
Industrial Trade and Industry). It didn’t matter if 
you were Japanese or any other nationality, you 
could not import anything without a license. 

Licenses generally fell into three categories. 
Category one was absolute necessities. Category 
two was products that were non-necessities but 
desirable. And category three was luxury — and 
getting a luxury license was nearly impossible. 

NG: So how did you start importing videogames? 
Surely amusements were “luxury” goods? 

David: Geographically Japan is very close to 
Korea. During the Korean War, Japan benefited 



from some U.S. military procurement [the U.S. 
army bought supplies in Japan]. This was a big 
bolster to the Japanese economy. 

So around ’56 or ’57,1 recognized that there 
was starting to be some disposable income. Also, 
there was beginning to be a little time for 
entertainment. By this I mean, up until perhaps 
the mid ’50s, most Japanese companies worked a 
full six days a week. In smaller companies, it 
wouldn’t be unusual to work six and a half days, 
which didn’t leave you much time for leisure. You 
were fortunate to get a good night’s sleep. 

But when the first signs of disposable income 
and leisure time appeared, I began thinking about 
how I could enter the entertainment market. 

“The U.S. game business was suffering. 
So we decided that to survive in Japan, 
we should develop games of our own” 

NG: How did you choose coin-op amusements? 

David: By a method of elimination. The popular 
entertainment at that point in time in Japan was 
Pachinko, dance studios, bars, and cabarets. None 
of these were something I wanted to get involved 
in, so I thought, “Gee — coin-operated games.” 

NG: So how did you get started? 

David: I made a quick study of the industry and 
found that there was only a small number of coin¬ 
op manufacturers and they were all in Chicago. 

They each manufactured between four and six 
games a year, other than pinballs. 

At the time, it was pretty much a dying 
industry in the U.S. — dying in the sense that it 
wasn’t growing. So I came to the U.S. with the 
idea that I would seek out the type of games that I 
felt most suitable for Japan. Then I went back to 
MITI to try and obtain a license to import them. 



David Rosen still has time to play the Sega classics at his home in Beverly Hills, California 


07 


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NEXT GENERATION December 1996 









NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


talking 


08 



the import duties in Japan were 
like 200%. Worse yet, you had to 
pay duties on shipping costs too. 
NG: So it was costing you 
around $800 for a machine that 
sold in the U.S. for $200. But 
the cost was worth it? 

David: Right off the bat, the 
machines were tremendously 
successful. It’s embarrassing to 
say this, but the return generally 
came in less than two months. 

The profits of a machine are 
made the same way as the 
profits of a theater seat or a plane seat — it 
depends on occupancy and on the time it’s used. 
You can charge a dollar to play a machine, but if 
it’s only used 10 times a day, you only make $10. 
Our machines were constantly going — from 
morning to night So the return was excellent 
NG: And so you imported more? 

David: I became known as a very live customer 
in the U.S. because most distributors had 


NG: But coin-ops are luxury entertainment 
items — not “necessity” photo booths. 

David: Yes, these were luxury items, and it took 
me over one year with a lot of effort — and 
certainly a lot of introductions — to convince 
MITI that coin-ops would be good for leisure. 
Finally, they granted me a license for $100,000, 
which meant I could purchase $100,000 worth of 
coin-ops, and bring them to Japan. 

The Japanese had a real desire for 
hunting and shooting, so I brought 
from the U.S. an assortment of rifle 


games based on this $ 100,000 
limitation. The average game probably 
only cost me about $200 used, but 


warehouses filled with used equipment they had 
no marketplace for. In those days, trade-ins were 
a very big part of any distributor’s business — 
when an operator bought a game for around 
$700, two years later he would trade it in for just 
$50 or $100. And these trade-ins were just piled 
up in warehouses. 

NG: And the Japanese loved these old games? 
David: The air gun games were in big supply and 
yet very popular in Japan. We were stripping the 
cabinets off the old machines, just keeping the 
mechanisms and creating new jungle 
environments from scratch. 

The first Japanese arcades 

NG: So where were you putting these coin-ops? 
David: At this point, I was opening up arcades 
with these shooting and hunting games 
throughout Japan, and we were fortunate. 

Based on my initial Photorama experience, we 
worked out a very good relationship with various 
movie studios, primarily Toho and Shursheko, so 
they made their locations available to us. 

NG: How many arcades did you have? 

David: I don’t know, but when I left there wasn’t 
a city in Japan that didn’t have one of our arcades. 
NG: Several Japanese game companies have told 
of run-ins with the Yakuza — the Japanese mafia. 
Was this ever a problem for you? 

David: It was probably less of a problem for us 
than it was for others. Actually, it was never a 
problem for us. 

NG: Really? Do you think you were left alone 
because you were American? 

David: Oh, definitely. Once, when we didn’t 
know any better, we opened a Photorama booth 
in an area ofTokyo called Iraksho. What we didn’t 
realize was that one has to pay their respects to 
the local... uh... call them what you will. I hesitate 
to come up with a name. 

But you’re supposed to pay your respects and 
acknowledge that you are now doing this business 
in their, erm, domain. And we didn’t. We failed to 
do this, just out of ignorance. 

In this particular case, we didn’t realize that 
this particular party was so sensitive to the issue. 
He sent some emissaries to tell us of his 
displeasure. And so we made an apology, and one 
of our Japanese managers explained to him that 
we were, of course, a foreign company and very 
sorry we didn’t know better. 

NG: Were you the only person in Japan 
operating coin-op games? 

David: I probably had the civilian marketplace to 
myself for about two years, but then other 
companies learned how we were importing and 
under what classification. Obviously, they applied 
for a similar license and soon started to import 
games and became competitors. 

The two companies that were most involved 
were Taito and a company called Service Games 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 





talking 



Rosen remains one of the few Americans to build a business empire in Japan 


— the Japanese name was Nihon Goraku Bussan. 
NG: And these became major competitors? 
David: Both companies had a fair sized jukebox 
operation going, and Nihon Goraku Bussan had a 
factory that manufactured slot machines for 
military use. So they were powerful companies. 

In the early ’60s, I was friends with the 
principals of both Taito and Nihon Goraku 
Bussan. And in 1964 going into 1965, the 
principals of Nihon Goraku Bussan and I had 
discussions about merging. They were by far the 
larger company, and Sega was their brand name. 
NG: So Nihon Goraku was the original Sega? 
David: It was Sega in the sense that Sega was its 
brand name. 

But we had decided to merge, and in trying to 
establish the name of the company, we decided 
Sega was the best known name, and we took 
Enterprises from Rosen Enterprises. So our new 
company became known as Sega Enterprises Ltd, 
and I became CEO/President after the merger. 


will tell you that The 
Periscope was a turning 
point for coin-ops. It was a 
simple game. You stood at 
one end and shot at cutout 
ships running on a chain 
through a periscope. 

NG: Kind of like ducks on 
a shooting gallery? 

David: Something like 
that. The aiming device 
looked like a real periscope 
and the player had to 
release torpedoes in time 
to hit the ships. It sounds 
simple today, but at the 
time it was somewhat 
revolutionary. 

It was so successful 
| that US. and European 
distributors flew to Japan 


to see what it was all about, and we exported it 
NG: Was it just as expensive to export from 
Japan as it was to import into it? 

David: Because of the Japanese export tax, The 
Periscope was about twice as expensive as any 
conventional U.S. piece. Instead of $695 or $795, 
it cost around $ 1,295. The operators complained, 
saying,“You know it’s a great piece, but we really 
can’t make money paying $ 1,295.” And we said, 

“Put it on 25£ play, and you’ll make money.” 

That was the introduction of 25£ play in the 
U.S. and Sega’s start in the export business. 

NG: So what happened next? 

David: After The Periscope, we realized that we 
could design acceptable games, and we became 
very prolific — we probably designed and 

“The Japanese had a great need for ID 
photos. My first idea was to import 
automated photo booths from the U.S. 


99 


Sega’s first coin-ops 

NG: When did Sega start making its own games? 

David: By 1961, we noticed that there really 
wasn’t anything new about the games we were 
importing. There were cosmetic changes — the 
target or the layout would be different — but 
basically the games were all the same. 

The game business back in the U.S. was going 
further into the doldrums. So we decided that to 
survive in Japan, we should think of developing 
some new equipment of our own. 

Sega Enterprises had the factory and the 
engineers, from Nihon Goraku Bussan. I had 
engineers too, of course, and I had some game 
ideas. We decided to seize the opportunity. 

NG: So what was the first true “Sega” game? 
David: In 1966, we produced our first game 
called The Periscope. Old-timers in the industry 


exported between eight to ten games a year. 

For the first time, Chicago realized: one, that 
there was somebody outside of Chicago that 
could produce games; and two, that there was still 
a good industry out there if one really produced 
games that could attract player attention. 

NG: Did the Chicago companies fight back? 
David: The game that broke the camel’s back, so 
to speak, was a game we built in the late 1960s 
called Jet Rocket Word got out about this game. 

Every game Sega Enterprises introduced was 
really novel, but Jet Rocket introduced a lot of new 
elements, different types of sound, and different 
special effects. While we were designing it, we 
obviously showed prototypes to various people 
and sent out prototypes for testing. This was 
going to be an expensive piece. 


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NEXT GENERATION December 1996 






NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


talking 


10 


But unbeknownst to us, the three main 
Chicago manufacturers decided to knock off this 
game [make an exact copy of it] and each one was 
racing to be first. Consequently, there was an over 
supply of Jet Rocket, and for a while we stopped 
exporting games. 

NG: Sega was eventually bought by the Gulf/ 
Western conglomerate. How did this happen? 
David: We wanted to go public in Japan, but too 
many firsts were involved. First, it would have 
been the first time a foreign-owned company went 
public in Japan after World War II. Second, it 
would have been the first time a company in the 
coin-op industry went public in Japan. Too many 
hurdles existed. 

So we ended up being bought by the 
Gulf/Western conglomerate. And then, in March 
of 1984,1 put together a group — including Mr. 
Nakayama — and bought the company back. 

“Unfortunately, the Master System was 
launched around two years after the NES. 
By that time, Japan had a Nintendo culture” 

The first Sega videogames 

NG: At what point did Sega get involved with 
actual videogames, as opposed to coin-operated 
electro-mechanical games? 

David: Sega was involved in videogames very 
shortly after they were invented. Certainly we 
were importing games like Pong from day one. 

We started producing our own videogames 
shortly thereafter. 

NG: After having enjoyed so much success in 
Japanese arcades, why was Sega’s first home 
videogame system — the Master System — 
unable to get a foothold in Japan? 

David: Unfortunately, the Master System was 



launched around two years after Nintendo’s NES. 
By that time Japan had a Nintendo culture, and it 
was difficult to launch a similar technology. 

NG: Do you believe that the Master System 
offered more powerful hardware than the NES? 
David: Well, I don’t think there was a significant 
difference, in all fairness. 

NG: But you made up for this slow start with the 
launch of the 16-bit Genesis? 

David: Yes, we were first with the Genesis. And 
that’s what helped us recapture the market. 

NG: But Saturn has not done as well as people 
had hoped, obviously. 

David: Saturn is very successful in Japan. 

Basically, Saturn has done remarkably well 
considering the forces against it. There’s no 
question that Sony is a very viable competitor. 

And there’s also no question that a lot of third- 
parties have jumped on the Sony bandwagon. 

In spite of this, however, Sega has held its own 
in Japan very well. To the best of my knowledge 
and based on the numbers I receive, it was still a 
50/50 market in Japan, prior to the launch of 
Nintendo 64. That is I think quite an achievement. 
It says quite a bit about Saturn. 

NG: What about in the U.S.? 

David: By most reports, Sony has outsold Sega in 
the U.S., but several factors are involved. First, 
they were priced less than us to begin with — and 
the market is unquestionably price-sensitive. 
Second, Sony was fortunate to have a lot of 
software when they introduced their system. We 
didn’t have quite as much. 

NG: Many Sega followers are hoping that Nights 
can do for Saturn what Sonic the Hedgehog did for 
Genesis. What do you think of the game? 

David: I think it’s a very impressive game. 

Sega has tremendous engineering and 
technology capability. Basically, due to the coin-op 
business we have the ability to translate and 
transpose our engineering know-how into 
consumer product. 

Certainly, I would say Sega’s strength is its 
engineering R & D capability, which comes out of 
the coin-operated machine business. Sometimes 
we become overly sophisticated and think 
anybody can understand the operating system and 
thereby program and make great software for it. 
But that rectifies itself in time. 

NG: So you have long-term faith in Saturn? 
David: I think that this bout is far from over. 

A lot will depend on what happens this holiday 
season, and a lot of what happens this holiday 
season is going to depend on the software. 
Certainly, the two 32-bit systems are not dissimilar 
enough to sell on the virtue of the hardware. 

Customers buy based on the games they’ve 
played and how much they enjoy them. So we 
hope that a lot of titles that we have rr*o 

coming out will put us back on top. 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 








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So, if your dog starts burying more than just 
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NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


Next Generation attends Japan’s biggest videogame exhibition and discovers a wealth of 32-bit games and third- 
party Nintendo 64 games/p.14 • JAMMA: yet more new coin-ops/p.20 • Arcadia: How Microsoft has its sights 
set on the coin-op world/p.24 • Generator: Force Feedback/p.26 • JoyRiding: Online gaming/p.30 



Computer and videogame news from around the world 


14 


Tokyo Game Show ’96: 



Japan’s premiere 
videogame show 
offers first look 
at Sony, Sega, and 
Nintendo games 


The excitement shown on the faces of delegates was clear — this was 
a show that few owners of next-gen machines were prepared to miss 


of the state of the play in the 
Japanese market with the PlayStation 
leading the way with 164 titles on 
show. The numbers were made up by 
110 Saturn titles, 29 PC titles, 14 
Nintendo 64 titles, 10 NEC PC-FX 
titles, 9 Macintosh titles, and a 
solitary PC Engine game. 

At Sony’s big and 

impressive stand, SCE debuted 
Beldeselva and Rorokenshin. 
Beldeselva is an air combat game set 
in a fantasy world in which pilots fly a 
bizarre collection of propeller-driven 
aircraft. Like Sega’s Virtual-On, a 
special analogue double joystick will 
be released for the game. 


Japan shows off 


visitors had to suffer another lengthy 
delay as thousands lined up to get 
into the venue. (The visitors included 
over a thousand people dressed as 
game characters, in full costume for 
the Saturday parade run by the 
show’s organizers.) 

What all these visitors came to 
see were the 350 or so games 
presented on seven different 
platforms. The numbers tell the story 


he Tokyo Game Show took 
place recently in the new Big 
Sight suburb of the capital - 
an area reclaimed from the sea and 
quickly developed by the space- 
hungry Japanese. The 
popularity of the show was 
demonstrated by the 45 
minute wait to buy tickets 
for the only train from Tokyo 
to Big Sight. On arrival, 


What all 
these visitors 
came to see 
were the 350 
or so games 
presented 
on seven 
different 
platforms 


Sega gives it 
some stick 

The dual-stick control 
method adopted by the 
arcade version of 
Virtual-On has prompted 
Sega to develop a version 
for the Saturn. No news 
has been released on a 
price or whether it will 
make it to the U.S. 



Next Generation OnLine. nttp://vvv*\x.next generation.com/ 




















breaking 



Sega’s booth was unsurprisingly 
crowded with game players eager 
to check out Saturn titles such as 
Shining the Holy Ark (above and 
above right) — the latest RPG in 
its highly popular series 


Rorokenshin is a sword-fighting game 
similar to Bushido Blade but, at this 
stage, not so visually impressive. 

PaRappa The Rapper was possibly 
the strangest — and perhaps even the 
most fun — title on show. It’s billed as 
a children’s game with a main 
character designed by cartoonist 
Rodney Greenblat. The player simply 
has to copy the ever-more complex 
“rap” moves of characters such as 
karate sensei Professor Onion. 

The other major title at the Sony 
stand was Zen’s new-agey dolphin 
game, Depth. In it, the player steers a 



Capcom’s Star Gladiator was popular on PlayStation, but its showing of 
Resident Evil 2 on video (top) was torture for fans of the original 


dolphin through a very pretty seascape 
collecting musical notes, composing 
his own soundtrack along the way. 
Filling out the booth were the still to 
be released Ark The Lad 2, Wild Arms, 
and the popular Total NBA. 

Sega showed off us 

Saturn version of Fighting Vipers to an 
eager audience, just a week prior to 
the game’s Japanese launch. But the 
big news was Virtual-On with its 
special dual joystick (reminiscent of 
Atari’s old Battlezone arcade 
controls). The standard version of the 
robot combat game only offers a one- 
player mode, but X-Band players 
should soon be able to hook up for 
two-player battles. 

Sega also unveiled Shining the 
Holy Ark, a 3D role-player in the 
Shining series, and Daytona USA 
Championship Circuit Edition, a 
redesign by the Saturn Sega Rally 
team running at 30 fps with a split¬ 
screen two-player mode, replays, and 
a ghost car mode. Elsewhere, the 


What is it? 

It is a hexagonal frame 
that is placed on the 
floor and plugged into 
the joypad port of a 
Genesis. In theory, you 
can now “control” a 
game using body 
movements. In reality, 
though, you can’t 


1 


J 



action-packed Saturn Die 
Hard was up and running 
and third-party titles 
included Riglord Saga 2, 
Heart Of Darkness, Dark 
Savior, and Sakura Taisen. 


Capcom did 

introduce Resident Evil 2 
at the show but remained 
cagey about the content of the game 
and only played the demo on two 
small screens at the back of its 
booth. It was more upfront about Star 
Gladiator and Street Fighter Alpha 2, 
both of which are reviewed this issue. 

The biggest attraction on 
Konami’s stand was the 3D RPG, 
Vandal Hearts, although the company 
continues to milk Parodius for all it’s 



Namco’s star attractions 
were its new racing game 
(above) and Soul Edge 


15 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 



















NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


breaking 


It is... 

Sega’s Activator. This 
ill-fated peripheral 
failed for many reasons, 
but primarily because 
many players found it 
impossible to even start 
a game using this wacky 
device — let alone 
break any high scores 



Konami’s Vandal Hearts 
(top), and SCE’s 
Rorokenshin (above), 
both for PlayStation 


worth with two variants — Sexy 
Parodius and Oshaberi Parodius 
(Forever With Me) for PlayStation 
and Saturn. Tokimeki Memorial — a 
title based on a sexy young Manga 
idol — was also there and has been a 
huge success on PlayStation, Saturn, 
and Super Famicom in Japan. 

Warp’s decidedly un-Japanese way 
of doing things again provided 
welcome relief from stand after stand 
of identikit "spokesmodels.” 

Moments after the show opened, 
with just a handful of visitors at its 
booth, Warp ran a video showing 
boss Kenji Eno and Warp staffers 
dancing and singing a song. The 
lyrics translated roughly as “EO is a 
good game, Warp is a good 
company,” and after the song, when 
Eno was handed a Sony-branded 
MuuMuu mascot doll, he immediately 
threw it to the floor. (Eno and Warp’s 
very public snubbing of Sony at a 
recent PlayStation Expo ruffled many 
feathers in stuffy corporate Japan, 
adding to Eno’s reputation as 
something of a renegade.) Eno also 
appeared in person throughout the 
show, playing a piano and introducing 
some of Warp’s artists. 

Namco made a much 

stronger showing than at recent 
expos, introducing two major new 
PlayStation titles — Soul Edge and an 
as yet unnamed racing game, along 
with a six-button fighting stick. 

It was no surprise that the 
conversion of Soul Edge differs little 
from the System 11 arcade original, 
so most people crowding around the 
big screens at the Namco stand were 
focused on the mysterious racer. It’s 
a completely redesigned Ridge Racer 
follow-up, featuring a new Grand Prix 
mode in which players earn money to 
buy upgrades for their cars. The 




standard Ridge Racer controls remain 
in place, but apparently the driving 
will be "more technical,” with some 
shrewd gear-changing required on the 
undulating circuits. Namco Museum 
Volume 4 was also displayed — 
according to the company, over 
600,000 units of the Museum series 
had been sold in Japan to date. So, 
retrogaming obviously pays... 

Square gave more demos 

of the long-awaited Final Fantasy VII 
and gave away a CD-ROM graphics 
demo. Other demos running on the 
Square stand were Final Fantasy 
Tactics, Bushido Blade, and Saga 
Frontier. Takara showed the latest 
titles in the Toshinden series — 
Nitoushinden and Toshinden Ura — as 
well as Deep Sea Adventure. 

Taito had the PlayStation version 
of its shooter Ray Storm demoing on 
a huge screen that dwarfed their 
other major demos — the promising 
3D fighter Psychic Force and a 
redesigned PlayStation Ray Tracer. 

Elsewhere, Banpresto had classic 
Toaplan shooter Batsugun on the 
Saturn and two PlayStation games — 


Nintendo 64 

There was no official 
Nintendo presence at the 
show, but some new N64 
games were given public 
airings by third parties. 
Epoch’s Doraemon demo 
betrayed a strong Mario 
64 influences with 
camera views, playing 
techniques, and a boss 
stage very similar to the 
Miyamoto opus. Enix’s 
N64 role-player, Wonder 
Project J2, is a follow-up 
to the Super NES 
original, and roughly 
follows the format of the 
16-bit game. Seta had no 
less than three N64 
games — combat flight 
sim, Wild Choppers, racer 
Rev Limit (looking 
extremely smooth), and 
Ekoo-no-Saint Andrews, a 
golf sim set at the 
Scottish “home” of golf 
and designed to work 
with analogue controls. 



One of SCE’s best titles was Beldeselva — a fantasy flight sim with some 
crazy airplanes. The game is compatible with a custom dual-handled ’stick 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 
















breaking 





Epoch made an 
appearance with its Mario 
64tike Doraemon game 
for Nintendo 64 


Seta’s range of new Nintendo 64 games 
kept onlookers preoccupied. Rev Limit 
(top) was by far the most impressive 


Zeraim Zone and 3D fighter Shadow 
Struggle. Other PlayStation titles on 
display included a Formula 1 racer 
from OZ Club, although Human’s 
Formula 1: The Next Generation failed 
to appear as expected. Human did, 
however, present Tower Clock 2, a 
horror title for Sony’s machine. 

The number of videogame shows 
is increasing at an alarming rate, 
proof of just how much activity the 
next generation market is generating. 
With E3 Tokyo scheduled for early 
November and Shoshinkai looming, 
expect Next Generation 
to be busy... 11^4 


Games in development around the world: The announcements, the 
delays, the good, the bad, the ugly... 

Vic Tokai has announced the date for release of its Nintendo 64 
3D fighter. Dark Rift has been penciled in for launch in April ’97, 
one month after the title appears on PC. It is also planning to 
release the mysterious Wet Corpse at the same time. 

Old-time movie star Humphrey Bogart is to star in a videogame, 
courtesy of CMG.The actor, who died more than 30 years ago, will 
appear in Into The Fire, which aims to emulate the 
look and feel of film noir classics. Bogart himself 
has been brought to life via digitized images 
? yjB from old screen tests and photos of the star. 

“Bogart remains one of the century’s most 
recognizable figures,” explained Beth Vahle, CMG’s 
vice president. “His legendary tough-guy image 
makes him the perfect leading man.” 


Namco has confirmed its first two games for Nintendo 64. As 
widely expected, an RPG is in the offering — probably a sequel in 
the Tales of Phantasia series. Both Namco and Nintendo are 
hoping the RPG will fill the gap left by PlayStation defector 
Square. A Namco’s spokesperson told n64.com (NG Online's sister 
site, dedicated to Nintendo 64 coverage) that the second game 
would be sports based and part of the company’s World Stadium 
brand. Currently, the brand is only being used for the PlayStation 
baseball title World Stadium EX. 

Square has announced that the much- 
anticipated Final Fantasy 7 for PlayStation 
has been delayed. On Square’s web page, 
the company explained that the title has 
been delayed until January 31. s=!l - •" IZZ: 

Trilobyte (the maker of 7th Guest) is working on its own online 
gaming world for Assault, a new mission-based combat game, due 
to be launched next spring. Assault will come out under 
Trilobyte’s new Analogue label, and will be a military strategy 
game, but not — according to its maker — “just another 
Warcraft II clone.” 


Spectrum Holobyte has secured the rights to 
produce an action game based upon the 
forthcoming Star Trek: First Contact movie. In 
the movie Star Trek: First Contact the Next 
Generation crew (of the Trek, not videogame 
* magazine, variety — although we are available 
for game and movie deals, if Spectrum’s 
interested) encounters the Borg collective for the first time. 

The game itself will be in the form of a 3D action/strategy 
game that will take place entirely on the Enterprise-E. In the 
game, the Borg takeover of the Enterprise has begun, and players 
must incapacitate the Borg — a task that will lead to an 
encounter with the evil Borg Queen herself. 


Sources close to Sega have indicated that a compilation disc of 
Thunderforce will be released in Japan for the Saturn. The 
collection, called Thunderforce Gold, will included such classic as 
Thunderforce 2 and Thunderforce 3. Additional sources indicate 
that it may also include Lightning Force. 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 










PlayStation 


r-v; 


Infectinn is 
spreading as you 
tear into action against an 
endless stream of enemies 
in mind-bending 3-D. 
Devise your strategy with 
tons of weapons, special 
power-ups and increased 
precision controls because 
the fever is coming. 
Catch it. 


A deadly 
virus has 
ravaged the land. 

Humanity is forced 
underground—and into 
a tyranny of a differ¬ 
ent kina. The race to 
find a cure 
is on. And the 
conspiracy to stop you 
is on your tail. 


















breaking 


Online gaming via 


Nintendo finally 
acknowledges 
that Nintendo 
64’s disk drive 
add-on may be a 
Trojan Horse for 
online gaming 



Nintendo 64DD? 


Nintendo’s 
Magic Trick 

To nobody’s great 
surprise, Nintendo has 
magically produced 
450,000 extra Nintendo 
64s for the U.S. prompting 
retailers to up their 
targets for Nintendo 64 
this holiday season to “a 
minimum of 1.5 million 
units.” Previously, 

Nintendo promoted the 
idea of a shortage, 
warning gamers that only 
500,000 Nintendo 64s 
would reach U.S. stores for 
the holiday season. In 
reality, additional 
hardware is arriving to 
match demand. 

Nintendo claims the 
new units are available as 
a result of a (presumably 
unexpected) “more 
efficient manufacturing 
process.” This, obviously, is 
a fallacy and — as 
previously suggested by 
Next Generation — the 
perception of a shortage 
was clearly a marketing 
gimmick. Nintendo 
vehemently denies the 
possibility that N64 is 
still underachieving in 
Japan and that the U.S. 
is picking up the 
unsold machines. 


□ intendo has finally released 
final specifications for 64DD, 
the readable/writable 
magnetic disk drive add-on for 
Nintendo 64. The drive is scheduled 
to be released at Tokyo’s Shoshinkai 
exposition this November and to hit 
Japanese streets in the fall of 1997. 
Nintendo has revealed that 64DD 
attaches to the underside of a 
Nintendo 64 console through the 
“ext" port. High density 3 3 /4” 
magnetic disks are front-loaded 
(VCR-style) into the unit, and each 
disk holds 64MB of data (44MB of 
each disk will be read-only, with 
20MB writable). 64DD boasts an 
Average Seek Time (AST) of 150 
milliseconds and then a 1MB per 
second Data Transfer Rate (DTR). 

The unit will come with a 1MB or 
2MB RAM expansion pack (to be 
plugged into N64’s memory 
expansion slot) to extend the 
memory capacity of both the disks 
and the cartridges from the standard 
4MB. There is no firm news of what 
games will appear on 64DD. 

The addition of such a 

device to Nintendo 64 offers huge 
potential for enhanced gameplay. The 
convenience of swapping disks with 
friends, the ability to save 
sophisticated game data, and the 
sheer increased amount of RAM all 
look to turbocharge what is already a 
powerful system. But perhaps the 
most exciting possibility, as NG has 
discussed before, is the potential to 
use 64DD as a means of hooking an 
N64 to an online network. 
Downloadable software, multiplayer 
gaming, customizable levels — the 
possibilities are endless. 

Up until now, however, Nintendo 
has refused to comment on the 
subject. The closest it has ever come 
to admitting that it has plans in 
place to introduce such a service 
came in NG 20 when Howard Lincoln, 
upon being presented with the online 
possibilities 64DD offers, smiled and 
conceded, “That’s a very astute 
observation. And everything you’ve 
said I completely agree with. But, 
without trying to be overly coy about 


this, we just are not in a position 
where we can make an 
announcement." 

However, some of Next 
Generation’s readers have recently e- 
mailed Nintendo, inquiring about 
64DD and have received confirmation 
that such an online network may be 
in its plans. “By far the most 
significant fact about the 64DD is 
that it can be written to, not just 
read from,” offered a Nintendo 
spokesperson. And then, “uses may 
include ... a means to download 
games and programs from network or 
satellite sources. Think about some 
of the possibilities.” 

Additionally, Paradigm 
Simulations (the co-developers of 
PilotWings 64) has confirmed that it 
is "actively pursuing Internet 
gaming” — and this has to be in 
conjunction with Nintendo. Consider 
that Nintendo has been toying with 



satellite and terrestrial gaming 
networks in Japan for years, while 
Nintendo of America’s Gateway 
system distributes Nintendo games 
via a network in hotels and on 
airplanes across the country. 
Remember that a “strategic alliance" 
with Netscape was announced last 
year. Lastly, realize that for all its 
bluster, Nintendo understands the 
limitations of cartridges as well as 
anyone else and would welcome a 
viable alternative (downloaded 
games are even cheaper to “make” 
than CD-ROMs — they’re free). 

Isn’t it fairly easy to see a 
pattern emerging? 


NG Online 


http://www.next- 

generation.com/ 

Next Generation 
Online is the world’s 
leading computer and 
videogame website. 
Every weekday, 
visitors can indulge in 
the following: 

• Read the latest 
news from the gaming 
world. Our first-rate 
staff have the best 
contacts in the 
business. 

• Inspect up-to-the- 
minute previews 
including visuals and 
movie files. The 
previews are available 
to you the same day 
they arrive in the Next 
Generation offices. 

• Play the newest 
demos for PC and 
Macintosh. NG Online 
doesn't waste time 
with trash. All our 
demos are hand¬ 
picked by the team. 

• Talk with other 
gameplayers via a 
daily letters page and 
an interactive forum. 

• Meet new 
gameplayers or 
arrange online game 
tournaments through 
the Online Palace, a 
graphical live chat 
environment. 

• Ask your gaming 
questions to Next 
Generation's editors. 
Every day. your 
queries are answered 
in a special Q&A. 

• During November 
and December, there 
will be a series of live 
online conferences on 
the Palace. We'll be 
inviting top industry 
insiders and game 
designers to answer 
your questions. 

NG On Line is one of 
the fastest growing 
sites on the web. So, 
if you’re interested in 
games, we'll see you 
there. And don't 
forget our brand new 
sister-site N64.com 


19 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 










NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


20 


Jamma ’96: Konami and 


Sega and Namco’s 
stranglehold on 
the world coin-op 
market shows 
signs of loosening 


Capcom gain 

o real surprises occurred 
during this year’s JAMMA 
show, which took place in 
mid-September. Namco’s System 33 
failed to show despite its main rival 
Sega having already kick-started the 
future of real-time 3D with Virtua 
Fighter 3 hogging most of the 
attention on the show floor. 



ground 


Capcom’s CP System III 
board will offer untold 
2D power. Its first game 
will be Warzard (top) 


Konami and Capcom fared 

better than usual with demos of 
games of all genres and some 
technological progress. One of the 
best games of the show was 
Konami’s GTI Club Cote D'Azur 
running on new 3D technology (the 
company has developed a new board 
titled Cobra, in cooperation with 
IBM). This linked racing game has 
superb graphics, unusual camera 
angles, and features cars such as 
Minis and Renault 5s careering 
around southern France. Konami's 
other showstopper was Solar Assault, 
the latest installment of its Gradius 
series, but this time rendered in 
glorious 3D and even housed in its 
Speed King cabinet as well as in 
conventional stand-up coin-ops. 

Of course, Virtua-Fighter 3 was 
the fighting game of the show and is 
about to be released in Japan any 
day. Completed versions of Wave 


Runner and Sega Touring Car 
Championship were also present at 
the booth. As far as brand new 
games, though, only one was shown 
— Super Giant Slalom developed by 
AMI. This is an obvious competitor to 
Namco’s Alpine Racer 2 which also 
debuted at the event. Sega’s game 
features outstanding graphics, 
particularly in the night time stages 
on illuminated pistes. 

While System 33 has 

possibly been delayed until the AOU 
early next year, Namco seemed short 
of new games. Apart from its 
wonderful Tokyo War (now playable in 
linked form) and Alpine Racer 2 (also 
linked), Namco presented AquaJet for 
the first time, with graphics similar to 
the other jetski games on show from 
Sega and Konami but with some 
attractive circuits and more of an 
emphasis on jumping. 

But really it was Capcom that, in 
some respects, held most of the 
cards. Warzard (running on its new 
CPSIII board) and X-Men vs Street 
Fighter both proved that there is still 
progress to be made in the 2D arena, 
while its Tekken 2- like Street Fighter 
EX was in direct contrast to Street 
Fighter III seen briefly on 
video. In 2D... 


Seymour 
Cray dies 

71-year old computer 
wizard Seymour 
Cray, who pioneered 
the use of transistors 
in computers died on 
Saturday the 5th of 
October, following a 
traffic crash. 

As the inventor 
of RISC (Reduced 
Instruction Set 
Computing) and the 
builder of world 
famous super¬ 
computers, Cray is 
credited with 
revolutionizing 
computer speed.“As 
long as you can make 
them smaller, you can 
make them faster,” 
Cray once said. 





Sega’s Super 
Giant Slalom 
jockeyed for 
position, and the 
impressive 
Virtua Fighter 3 
wowed the 
crowds. 

Capcom’s Street 
Fighter EX was a 
surprise given 
its ambivalence 
towards 3D 



Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 



















reason 

doesn’t strike twice 
same place 
the same place isn’t there 
the second time. 

— Willie Tyler 


Digital precision. Deadly accuracy. 

Imagine scorching your enemies with razor-sharp 
precision. With the world's first digital-optical 
joystick, the Sidewinder"* 3D Pro, you'll balance 
complex moves with maximum control to get the ulti¬ 
mate in responsive game play. You won’t have to 
recalibrate, even after hours of play. And every 
handle rotation instantly changes your viewpoint. 
Digital Overdrive lets the joystick communicate 
more efficiently with your Windows 95-based games, 
All the better to singe your competition. 



Microsoft 

Where do you want to go today? www.microsoft.com/sidewinder/ 


©1996 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Microsoft and Windows 


registered trademarks and Uhere do you 


go today? and Sidewinder are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. 




Hu’s iwc Kinc, 


a Hurlooh m inGTAUR 


the Wall or- Stohe 


Ann Shatter, 






MASfCR 


the Wall of AiR. 


ARmAC.EDDOn. 

THE SHiVAn DrAGOH, 
AI1D REGEHERATion. 



This is the next dimension of Magic: The Gathering? Draw 
on a mystic armor} 7 of 220 spells to invoke a supernatural 
legion of creatures and powers! In the vortex of warfare every 
unique spell reacts differently to every other spell. Prepare 
yourself for another level of strategy! 

Duel rapid-fire, real-time with up to 4 players over a PC 
network or two players on PlayStation’” and Sega Saturn' via 
split-screen technology! Or wage a necromantic campaign 
against Battlemage Ravidel and an alliance of wizards in 
the vast uncharted world of Corondor. 

Welcome to the ultimate War of the Wizards! 



The Gathering 


B A T T t 6 III A G f 


BASED ON THE FANTASY ADVENTURE WORLD OF MAGIC: THE GATHERING. 



PLAYSTATion WIFI DOWS 95 sega satu rit 



Magic: The Gathering. Deckmaster. and all expansion names are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast. Inc Pat. Pend. All Rights 
Reserved. Battlemage is a registered trademark of Acclaim Entertainment. Inc. PlayStation and the 4 logo are trademarks of 
Sony Computer Entertainment. Inc. Sega and Sega Saturn are trademarks of SEGA ENTERPRISES. LTD All rights reserved 
Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. © 1996 Microsoft Corporation Acclaim is a division and registered 
trademark of Acclaim Entertainment. Inc. © & © 1996 Acclaim Entertainment. Inc. All rights reserved. 


>K<laim 


www.acclaimnation.com 



NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


breaking 



PC Game Makers Join 
Microsoft’s “Revolution” 

A diverse coalition headed by Microsoft, allied 
PC game publishers, and arcade owners are 
launching what they call a revolution in the 
arcade videogame industry. Since the business 
first began back in 1979, coin-operated 
videogames have most often been sold as 
complete packages, and this means that 
arcades are required to buy new hardware and 
cabinets almost every time they purchase a new 
game. Today’s prices run as high as $6,000 for 
standard upright videos and as high as $25,000 
per unit for deluxe sit-down simulators. 

Microsoft and its allies plan to change all that. 
They are boldly challenging status-quo leaders like 
Sega and Namco by setting up a radically different 
alternative delivery method, as originally proposed 
by the National Amusement Network (NANI). The 
proposed method will include three massive, 
related shake-ups: 

(1) Universal, standard hardware — arcade 
videogame cabinets equipped with standard, 
upgradeable, Windows-based PC engines — will 
be created and adopted. 

(2) This, in turn, will enable game software 
from dozens, perhaps hundreds, of publishers to 
be adapted and sold for arcade use, at a cost of 
under $1,000 per title to arcade owners. 

(3) It will also permit game software to be 
downloaded to locations, rather than hand- 
delivered as is the case now. (Eventually the 
Microsoft/NANI setup is also expected to enable 
real-time remote multiplayer gameplay, too.) 

Williams/Bally-Midway, creators of War 
Gods and the Mortal Kombat games, is the first 
"traditional” arcade videogame manufacturer to 
switch over to the new paradigm with at least 
one product capable of using the NANI system. 
(It’s a countertop multi-menu piece with simple 
videogames for bars and taverns.) More arcade- 
oriented titles from this Chicago factory may well 
be offered for NANI use in future months. 

NANI’s plans have been kicked around in 
public discussions — and in this column — for a 
couple of years. But suddenly, with the backing 
of Microsoft and a concrete list of game 
publishers, what was once theory is now looking 
very much like reality. At press time, insiders 
confirmed that several independent PC game 
developers and publishers plan to join Microsoft 
in supporting the NANI concept with software. 
Although no formal announcement came on 
September 26 at the AMOA International Expo 
(a Dallas trade show), it was hinted that other 
game publishers are waiting in the wings. 

Now the question for the arcade business is 
this: Who will win the war to establish the 
dominant business model? Will it be the 
traditional coin-op giants with their dedicated 
platforms? Or, will it be the newcomers like 
Microsoft and NANI with their “open” systems, 
which run like the U.S. computer industry? 

Stay tuned! 


Microsoft’s Arcade Apps 

In a move firmly tied to the NANI initiative, 
Microsoft is developing software architecture 
for arcade applications, starting with a function 
called DirectArcade that will run on Windows NT 
4.0. DirectArcade performs as an interface to 
give a PC game all the functions — pay-for-play, 
cabinet harness connections, joystick 
movements, and so on — that are necessary to 
make a PC game arcade-ready. PC game 
developers will be able introduce their games to 
arcades first, knowing that any title that proves 
an arcade hit will presumably become a mega¬ 
hit when it goes to the home PC market. The 
arcade exposure can also serve as a massive 
beta test program to let publishers tinker with 
gameplay until it’s perfect, prior to PC release. 

Microsoft, NANI, and their allies believe the 
back-inventory of thousands of existing PC game 
titles represents a potential gold mine for 
everybody involved. Beyond adapting existing PC 
games to arcades, NANI and Microsoft are also 
actively encouraging game publishers and 
authors to develop brand new PC-based games 
with equal emphasis on arcade suitability. 

Konami Boasts 5 million 
Polygons Per Second 

Suddenly the coin-op videogame factories are 
exploding with new advanced graphics hardware. 
The major fall trade show, the AMOA Expo, 
featured CG graphics from — well, everybody. 
Only Capcom and Data East were out of the 
mainstream; they’re sticking to their traditional 
martial arts style fighting games and 2D 
graphics. For now. 

Super-realistic graphics were in Sega’s Virtua 
Fighter 3, as expected. However, Konami claims 
its forthcoming "Cobra” system (created as a joint 
venture with IBM) will vault right past the Sega 
Model 3 platform. Konami claims that games using 
Cobra will process 5 million polygons per second. 
The limited preview of a Cobra-based fighting game 
it demonstrated in Dallas only showcased the 
hardware running at one million polygons per 
second — no explanation was offered as to why. 

Atari also has an undisclosed “mindblowing” 
fighting game on the way that it hopes will 
challenge VF3 for graphic dominance in arcade 
fighting pieces. Look for these advanced Konami 
and Atari fighters by the spring of ’97. 

Meanwhile, this fall and winter, you’ll see 
several super-fun sitdown driving simulators with 
photorealistic, texture-mapped CG graphics and 
inventive gameplay twists. Williams/Bally- 
Midway’s new Cruisin’ World, was voted best new 
game of the show by arcade owners, but much of 
their vote was based on its low price. Players may 
vote for Sega’s Touring Car Championship, Atari’s 
San Francisco Rush, Konami's Winding Heat, 
Namco’s Tokyo Wars, or even Jaleco’s GP Racing. 

Oh, and get ready to burn rubber (or churn 
H 2 0) at your local arcade as a flood of 
jetski titles are heading you way... vJLM 


24 









THEREFORE 

IT KILLS. 



http://www.playmatestoys.com 



611 Anton Blvd., Suite 500 
Costa Mesa, CA 92626 
(714) 428-2100 


Created by Shiny Entertainment, Inc. © 1996 Shiny Entertainment Inc. MDK is a trademark of Shiny Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. Artwork and design 
© 1996 Playmates Interactive Entertainment Inc. PIE'" is a registered trademark of Playmates Interactive Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved. 




26 


breaking 


Q 

<D 

S3 


Force Feedback:The Coming “Sense” in Gaming 


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| ideogames have traditionally 
involved visual and auditory 
I feedback — you see and 
hear what’s going on in the game. 
One form of feedback has not been 
well explored in the commercial 
realm of gaming — haptic feedback 

— that of feeling what’s going on in 
the game world. 

Last month, we covered the 
distant potential of tactile feedback 

— that of delicate pressure to the 
player’s skin. This month, we 
examine the more attainable world of 
force feedback. 

In the world of gaming, 

force feedback could be used to 
recreate the aerodynamic forces on 
your banking fighter in a flight sim, 
the roughness of terrain when moving 
through an RPG, the kick-back of a 
shotgun in Quake 2, or the weight of 
your about-to-be body-slammed 
opponent in Virtua Fighter 4. 

Force feedback involves 
applying forces to the body that act 
through a person’s muscular, 
skeletal, and balance systems. 

Force feedback is intended to make 
the overall body feel sensations, 
rather than just tactile feedback’s 
fingertips. It has the added benefit 
of also creating a rough sense of 
tactile feedback as well. 

If all this sounds far-fetched, 
you’ve probably actually experienced 
it already. Games like Sega’s Daytona 
USA and Atari’s Hard Drivin’ offer 
basic force-feedback steering wheels. 

Force feedback was researched 
extensively at places like the 
University of Utah and M.l.T. in 
combination with the U.S. Defense 
Department. Originally, force 
feedback research focused on 
industrial/defense projects where 
humans could control some type of 
robot from a remote location. This 
robot would usually be used in a 
place that offered a lot of physical 
risk to humans, like a radioactive 
clean-up zone or in defusing a bomb. 

These research projects focused 
on providing force feedback through 
two different methods. The first and 
more massive method was the 
M.I.T./University of Utah “ARM." A 
user would wear the “ARM” 
exoskeleton over his real arm, and 
the “ARM” would then recreate 
forceful movement based on 
information received from the remote 


robot. The “ARM” looked like a 
knight’s armor powered by massive 
motors, and it had to have extensive 
safeguards built into it so that the 
user's arm literally was not ripped out 
of the body. As you might expect, not 
too many volunteers or researchers 
were excited about participating. 

This is one situation where the user 
might not want to be a beta-tester! 

The second and simpler method 
of force feedback has involved 
“motorizing" an existing interface — 
for example, adding motors to control 
or limit the movement of a joystick or 
steering wheel (such as with Hard 
Drivin’ and Daytona USA). 

History has shown us that this 
method will prevail over the 
exoskeleton method. There are many 
reasons why, but basically consumers 
don't like “wearing” peripherals, 
which tend to be prohibitively 
expensive. 

In 1996, two major 

business announcements bring force 
feedback technology back to the 
news. The first is the announcement 
by CH Products that it will offer force 
feedback joystick technology from a 
California company named Immersion 
(see NG 17). 

The other activity is Microsoft’s 
acquisition of Exos, the force- 
feedback exoskeleton hand company. 

The big news in both 
announcements is that these two 
major competitors in the joystick 
business are gearing up for their next 
battle. The good news for consumers 
will be that the battle will bring a 
high quality force feedback 
experience to home systems. 

While both companies are 
offering great technology and the 
quality of the joystick-based force 
feedback experience is high, the 
next 12 months of market 
experiments by force-feedback 
joystick producers will be heavily 
influenced by how well new exciting 
games integrate the force-feedback 
technology into the game — will 
developers use them? 

If these companies can make 
force-feedback integration easy, 
robust, and powerful for game 
makers, force feedback is here to 
stay. If not, expect the market to 
exert some force feedback of its own 
and push the early products 
out of the game. 



Stuff every gamer 
should know. This 
month, one of history’s 
greatest game makers: 

No. 7 
Infocom 

So who or what is 
Infocom? It's a 
development house in 
Cambridge, Mass., that 
was active in the '80s. 
What did it do? Really 
good text adventures. 
Seriously? Yes. 

Why should I care? 
Well, not only was it 
one of the first truly 
commercial game 
houses, but its 
adventure games were 
some of the first — and 
finest — of the genre. 
But aren’t adventures 
better now, with plenty 
of graphics, and no 
irritating typing? Not 
necessarily. With just 
text, Infocom's 
developers could 
create much larger 
worlds, limited only by 
a player’s imagination 
— not by art or video 
restrictions. Also, 
keyboard input enables 
a much more complex 
and varied interaction 
with a game than a 
simple mouse can. 

So what went wrong? 
Only a relatively small 
number of gamers are 
willing to play text 
games. And. as the 
industry grew, this 
audience stayed static, 
and it became harder 
to achieve what was 
becoming acceptable 
sales. Also, Infocom 
lost its shirt on a failed 
database product. 

And then? Activision 
bought the company, 
fired everyone, and 
now uses the label to 
periodically re-release 
the text games, and 
high-tech "remakes.” 
Do they play as well as 
the old games? Not 
even close. 


*Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 





















NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


breaking 


28 



NINTENDO 64 PR£NZY 

N E W S L I N E : The Nintendo 64 retail 
feeding frenzy went as smoothly as anyone could 
have expected. That is, not very smoothly at all. 
Nintendo had rather hopefully put a September 29 
deadline on the on-sale date. But virtually every 
retailer in the country was shifting boxes by the 
26th. Nintendo, realizing that it could not hope to 
stop the malaise, yielded. Most retailers sold 
hardware stocks as soon as they arrived. 
BOTTOMLINE: The much-cherished 
Grand Launch Day is a thing of the past. Retailers 
are simply not prepared to suffer boxes sitting in 
their storerooms, while anxious customers pace up 
and down in their showrooms. It just ain’t natural. 
At least the major chains had the decency to ask 
the people at Nintendo if they minded terribly if the 
deadline was broken. Nintendo didn’t mind at all. 

VIRGIN SUCKS UP VIAC 0 M 
NEWSLINE: In yet another example of 
corporate streamlining and merging, Virgin has 
taken on responsibility for the publishing, 
marketing, and administration of Viacom New 
Media’s product portfolio and development team. 
The move could mean up to 70 lost jobs at 
Viacom’s New York headquarters. 
BOTTOMLINE: Unfortunately for those 
losing their jobs, it all makes sense. Virgin is 
wholly owned by Spelling which is 77% owned by 
the sprawling media megopolis which is Viacom. 
Why run two separate publishing interests each 
replicating many functions? Especially as (let’s 
face it) Virgin’s publishing record has dwarfed 
Viacom New Media’s. Large media companies are 
learning the hard way that software publishing is 
best left to dedicated software publishers. 

TEN GOES |_JVE 

NEWSLINE: Total Entertainment Network 
became the first online gaming provider to emerge 
from the pupae of beta testing. It went live in late 
September. 

BOTTOMLINE: As well as the 
complications of half a dozen providers vying for 
marketshare, companies like TEN also have much 
to fear from software publishers. Many may well 
follow Id’s example and set up free networks as an 
added service for individual games. But being first 
has done TEN no harm at all in the short term, and 
sets the stage for a big online war in 1997. 


STAT HAPPY 5Q NY 
NEWSLINE:A self-assertive Sony has 
been toasting its worldwide PlayStation success 
as it released new detailed accounts of global 
hardware and software sales. Worldwide sales 
have now reached 7.2 million units. The installed 
base in the US is 2.1 million. In Japan it has 
topped 3.5 million while Europe accounts for 1.6 
million. Sony also claims a 6:1 software to 
hardware ratio, indicating software sales in excess 
of 40 million units. 

BOTTOMLINE: Even die-hard industry 
cynics must agree PlayStation is flying. In North 
America, it’s outselling the Sega Saturn by 
something like 3:1. The ratio is similar in Europe. 
It’s worth recalling that three years ago Sega was 
the darling of the game industry and Sony’s plans 
were just an optimistic blueprint. 

PANDEMONIUM 

NEWSLINE: Electronic Arts has scooped 
the rights to publish Crystal Dynamics’s 
Pandemonium. The San Mateo, CA-based 
publishing giant will be releasing the 3D platformer 
at the end of this year. 

BOTTOMLINE: Since relinquishing its 
position as a bona fide publisher, Crystal Dynamics 
has moved from moribund industry player to bright 
young thing. The decision to market games before 
publishing deals have been tied up appears to be 
working with Dynamics cherry-picking publishers it 
feels appropriate for certain products. Or, perhaps, 
simply waiting for the best offer. 

GAMES lead TO GAMBLING? 

NEWSLINE: Videogames are leading 
young people into a life of gambling, according to 
Senator Jay Dardenne. The Louisiana Senator 
points out that, according to a recent survey, one 
in seven Louisianans ages 18 to 21 is a compulsive 
gambler. He said: “There is all too easy a leap 
from videogames to video poker.’’ 
BOTTOMLINE: Videogames are proven 
to be a favorite target of politicians. Not only are 
we led to believe that games lead to poor levels of 
education, short attention spans, tendencies 
toward violence, and dismal social skills, but we 
also asked to swallow that Baku Baku is the first 
step toward video poker hell. The encouraging 
news is that very few appear willing to 
subscribe to this BS. uL^ 


*Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 











"zsss&sr- 

than polyester.! 


More 


mey ve messed with the wrong man. 

P I 


Customize 
25 muscle cars 
with over 20 
lethal weapons! 


30 Nitro-burning 
missions! 


Super-realistic 
dynamics based 
on actual 
vehicle physics! 


Drive freely through 
unrestricted environments! 

Multi-vigilante action over LAN or 
hood-to-hood combat via modem! 


of A. 


AcliVisioH 


Coming Soon on Windows 95 CD-ROM 


http://www.activision.com 


Activision is a registered trademark and Interstate '76 is a trademark of Activision, Inc. © 1996 Activision, Inc. 
All other trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners. All rights reserved 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


breaking 


30 



Online Gaming Has A Long Way To Go 


love online gaming as much as 
I ■ the next guy — probably more. 
HUH I've spent countless hours on 
games like Kesmai's multiplayer 
BattleTech (the original VGA version) 
and AOL's Neverwinter Nights. When 
these games first went online, it was easy 
to believe that this was truly the start of 
something very, very big. 

Recently, I've been hoping to catch 
some of my initial buzz playing online 
again, but I haven't been able to find my 
misplaced enthusiasm. We've got a long 
way to go before all our online gaming 
dreams are realized, and I hate to say it, 
but those who think that trouble-free, 
super-fast, online multiplayer gaming is 
just around the corner are going to be 
sorely disappointed when they log on. 

I've read some editorials in 

some magazines that say the Internet's 
going to deliver it all, video, audio, news, 
games. Yeah, right. Right when Jaguar 
makes a triumphant comeback. 

Why am I of so little faith? Follow 
me: Games are the most demanding 
computer application around, at least to 
the general public. But a gamer's 
appetite for new technology is always 
underestimated, and — as always — 
technological advances are seemingly 
never enough. 

When the Pentium was released, no 
one at Intel thought it would be gamers 
that would adopt their P5 first. (Their 
corporate customers sat around and 
thought, "hey, my 486 is fine — what do 
I need an upgrade for?") Ditto with 
Windows 95; home users have jumped 
on it faster than corporate offices (who 
are waiting for Windows NT). 

I've always known that games drive 
the computer. We put up with IRQ 
conflicts to get better sound, unstable 
drivers to eke out video speed, and a 
spiraling introduction of faster CPUs to 
get a few more frames per second. But 
many people seem to believe that game 
technology is easy, and that "if you build 
it, they will come." 

So we come to the online world. 

Look at this news development: America 
OnLine purchased INN,The ImagiNation 
Network. AOL's Steve Case claims that 
people rely on AOL as much as on their 
telephone and TV. But AOL is the service 
that went down for a whole day, 
stranding people who rely on AOL's 
services for work and play. AOL is the 


company that on at least two occasions 
in the last month wouldn't allow me to 
access my e-mail. 

So sorry Steve, but my telephone 
doesn't go down on me all day (unless 
there's a natural disaster), and my 
television always lets me play back the 
episode of "The X-Files" I recorded. And 
yet AOL is going to provide gateways to 
Engage and/or ImagiNation Network? 

I'm really going to play the impressive- 
looking Red Baron 2 on a system that 
can't even deliver my e-mail? Before this 
becomes an AOL flame story, the 
Internet in some ways is no different, 
through no fault of my ISP. 

DTI (www.dti.net) has a T1 line (a 
good-sized pipe, though no T3) and 
provides my ISDN access, and off-peak, 
it flies. But when net traffic is up, my 
ISDN connection sometimes slows to a 
crawl. While a game that doesn't rely on 
latency might run fine (3D0's online 
fantasy RPG Meridian 59 seems to fall 
in this category, as does Blizzard's 
Diablo), how are games like Mercenaries 
going to react to the unpredictable 
Internet? My guess: not well. It'll run 
great sometimes, or like your hero broke 
his leg when Net traffic is high. 

Yes, the online gaming 

services are claiming low latencies, below 
200 ms (your PC trades information 
with the host server five times a second). 
But if they manage to provide this 
consistently, I'll eat their pick of any NG 
cover. The only people that can solve this 
problem are the mysterious men in black 
at MCI, Sprint, and AT&T, who own 
much of the communications backbone 
around the country. When they upgrade 
to faster routers, fiber optics, and ADSL, 
we'll get faster throughput, more 
reliability, and lower latency. 

But I'm not holding my breath. 
Instead, I'm looking closer to home. In 
fact, some of the best multiplayer game 
experiences have been in my apartment. 
My home LAN just got a new member: 
the 3Com Modem+Ethernet PC Card 
has given me reliable 28.8K modem 
access and speedy LAN connectivity, so I 
can play a four person deathmatch here, 
with Duke or Quake. Got a notebook and 
a PC? Then you can have a LAN. 

And you can taunt anyone who 
cares to listen within earshot, without 
a bandwidth-gobbling _ 

DSVD connection. lLM 



Data 


Number of Nintendo 
64s sold in the first 
week of sale in the 
U.S.: 300.000 
Number of copies of 
the album "Smurfs Go 
Pop" sold in its first 
seven weeks on 
release: 200,000 
Number of people 
currently beta-testing 
3DO s internet game. 
Meridian 59: 25,000 
Amount of time 
they've collectively 
spent playing the 
game since December 
1995: 500,000 hours 
Percentage of lottery 
jackpot winners who 
choose to return to 
work: 51% 

Number of America On- 
Line members, 
according to America 
OnLine: 6.2 million 
Decrease in body 
temperature of the 
average American due 
to prolonged over-use 
of central heating: 

1 degree centigrade 
According to a USSB 
Telescoop survey 
"Portrait of the 
American Household.” 
percentage of 
Americans who leave 
the TV on to keep a 
pet company: 15% 
Percentage who 
consider watching TV 
with their children to 
be a family activity: 
78% 

Percentage of 
Americans who said 
they could not live 
without television: 

19% 

Amount Demi Moore 
earned to appear in 
Strip Tease: 

$12.5 million 
Copies of the Street 
Fighter II anime video . 
sold in the U.S.: 
200.000 
Total box office 
takings from Mortal 
Kombat. 

$70 million 
Number of households 
in the U.S. with TV 
sets: 97 million 
Cost to Warner for 
resigning rock group 
R.E.M.: $88 million 


Next Generation OnLine, http://www.next-generation.com/ 































NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


breaking 


32 


Datebook 


November 


IAPPA, the International Association of Amusements and 
Attractions, is like a big arcade show except for the simulators, 
rides, and amusement attractions for which it’s famous. Closed to 
the public, it is held from November 20 to 23 in New Orleans, LA, 
at the New Orleans Convention Center. Call (703) 236-4800 for 
more information or accommodation inquiries. 

Comdex will take place in Las Vegas, NV from November 17 to 21 
and is open to the public. For more information on this enormous 
show, call (617) 449-6600. 

Nintendo Corporate Limited’s Shoshinkai will be the place for all in 
the game industry worldwide who are interested in finding out more 
about the 64DD add-on for Nintendo 64. It will also see the 
unveiling of Zelda 64 and whatever other software Nintendo 
manages to get ready in time. Not open to the public. For more 
information contact Nintendo at (213) 623-4200. 


December 


Fall Internet World will happen December 10 to 13 at the Javits 
Convention Center, NY. Call Mecklermedia at (203) 341-2855. 

April 

Computer Game Developer’s Conference (CGDC) will take place 
April 25 to 29 at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Silicon Valley, 
CA. The show is for programmers, writers, producers, product 
managers, artists, musicians, and assorted supergeeks. To get on 
the mailing list, send your vitals (name, title, company name, 
address, and so on) to cgdc@mfi.com. Those interested in 
exhibiting, call Gina Bovero at (415) 356-3406 or e-mail 
gbovero@mfi.com. Visit the web site at http://www.cgdc.com. If 
you’re interested in joining the Computer Game Developer’s 
Association (you get a $25 discount on the show), call (415) 948- 
CGDC or fax (415) 948-2744. 

May 


Multimedia 97 Exposition and Forum will take place May 6 to 9 at 

the Metropolitan Toronto Convention Center, Toronto, Canada. The 
show features five major components: Multimedia 
Communications, Virtual Reality World, VICOM, Showcase On 
Production, and Electronic Design. For more information call (905) 
660-2491, fax (905) 660-2492, or e-mail moreinfo@multimedia.ca. 
Official WWW-site: http://multimedia.magic.ca 

June 


The one and only Electronic Entertainment Exposition (aka E3) 
takes place in Atlanta on June 19 through June 21. Open to the 
public for one day. Visit http://www.mha.com/e3/ for more 
information on E3. 


SHOW ORGANIZERS: If your show isn't listed here it’s because we 
don’t know about it. FAX us on (415) 468-4686; E-mail us at 
ngonline@imagine-inc.com; or write us at Date Book, Next 
Generation, 150 North Hill Drive, Brisbane, CA 94005. See? Simple 



Peripherals, accessories, gizmos, 
add-ons, thingies, and stuff 

Sidewinder 
Price: $39.95 
Manufacturer: 

Microsoft 
System: PC 
Much as it pains us to 
admit that Microsoft can 
do anything right, it seems 
to have done it again. The 
Sidewinder game pad 
may very well be the best 
game pad available for PC. It seems odd that at a time when 
console game pads (starting with the Nintendo 64) are striving 
to offer analog control, PC game pads are stretching to 
accommodate digital functions, but hey, that's the way it is. The 
Sidewinder features an eight-way digital pad, six buttons, 
including two trigger buttons under the index fingers, and 
complete programmability. It also feels incredible. Nice work. 

Wireless Pro Controller 

Price: $24.95 
Manufacturer: Naki 
System: PlayStation 

This is the wireless version of Naki's Pro Controller (duh), which 
came to be nicknamed "The Fat Pad" thanks to its, urn, generous 
proportions. Wireless pads have an inherent appeal in theory, but 
generally tend to fall short in execution. To its credit, the WPC 

lasts longer than most on a pair 
of AAA batteries and is less 
picky than some about range 
and angle to the receiver 
(although package claims of 30 
feet are somewhat 
exaggerated). Still, that fat old 
thing just doesn't sit well in the 
hand, the buttons don't give 
much feedback, and wireless or 
no, it offered zero functionality 
over the standard PlayStation 
pad. Keep looking. 

Superpad 64 Plus 

Price: $24.95 

Manufacturer: Performance/InterAct 
System: Nintendo 64 

The first third-party pad for the N64 seems like a morph job 
between Nintendo's Batarang and the PlayStation pad. Although 
unwieldy at first, given enough time you can probably get used to 
the clumsy, non-symmetrical design. The six buttons are placed 
nicely for fighting games, and the analog stick has a tighter feel 
than Nintendo's. But the D-pad just feels wrong and the shoulder 
and trigger buttons are awkwardly placed. Still, it's cheaper than 
the Nintendo pads and seems to be just as sturdy — so if you need 
an extra pad, at least there's an alternative. 




Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 














Objective: 


Education: 


150 Shoreline Drive 
Redwood City, CA 94065 
1-888-734-2763 

A full-time position shooting things 
Shooting things 


Work Experience: Shooting zombies 
Shooting robots 
Shooting mutants 
Shooting mafia crime bosses 
Shooting mannequins 
Shooting cult leaders 

Special Skills: 


Shooting things with D-pad 
Shooting things with gun 
Shooting things with D-pad and gun 
Shooting things with D-pad and partner 
Shooting things with gun and partner 
Shooting things with gun in each hand 


Guns, ammo, shooting things 


Don Cortese: Deceased 
Chuck Brown: Deceased 
Barry Polipooey: Deceased 


Available for employment starting November' 


irect, call 1. 


and the SegaSoft logo are trademarks of Se< 
rhe Disposable Assassin, the charactei 




Interests: 

References: 





set the new standard 
action platform 

* -PSExtreme, 


gaming 


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Visual Entertainment 




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^ SEGA SATURN 


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“...establishing 
a ne>v standard 

in the platform genre. 

-Next (Jenekatw^^—— 


gameplay and H° anywhere 
~CMU«o G A « £F L Perspectiv e" 



For game hints call 1 -900-933-S0NY(7669). The charge is $0.95 per minute. Callers under the age of 18 must get parental permission to call. Touch-lone phone is required. Available 24 hours a day/7 days a week. U.S. only. The.Sony 
Computer Entertainment logo is a trademark of Sony Corporation. PlayStation and the PlayStation logos are trademarks ol Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. U R NOT E is a trademark of Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc. NFL and GameDay 







This isn’t a game, it’s a war. So be prepared for battle. Now, enough military 
analogies, let’s talk football. This is NFL GameDay ‘97. It’s better than any 
football game ever created. The artificial intelligence in this game is 



unmatched. Players on the field think, react and perform like they do in 
the NFL. Defenses and offenses learn your tendencies and key on them. In 
other words, there are no bread and butter plays to go to on third and long. 
You’ll go head-on with real defensive coverages, including nickel and dime 
packages and Dallas’ Cover 4. Defensive fronts attack your offensive line 
with stunts and swim techniques. And with new, larger players you’ll see 
guards and tackles trapping and pulling. This game is loaded with 
features, too. This is real football, baby. So welcome to the NFL. 



AND WHAT 


ARMY? 






are registered trademarks of the National Football League. Officially licensed product of the NFL Players and NFL Properties. NFL team names, logos, helmet designs and uniform designs are registered trademarks of the team indicated. 
©/TM1996 NFLP. The Players Inc logo is an official trademark of the NFL Players. © 1996 Players Inc. Developed by Sony Interactive Studios America. © 1996 Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc. www.sony.com PANCAKE 




Which videogame system is 
the best? Which console 
should you buy? The bad news 
is that there's not one simple 
answer. The good news is that 
all the info you'll need to 
make your own decision starts 
on the next page... 


PlayStation 47 

Sega Saturn 59 

Nintendo 64 71 


tkBIG 

FIGHT 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 








V 


ideogaming is not a 
sport for wimps. If a 
gamer truly wants to 
stay on the cutting edge, 
it requires taking a 
gamble every now and 
then. And when it comes to investing in a 
new system, the stakes run in to the 
hundreds of dollars. All new hardware 
platforms promise the moon, but at each 
new system’s birth, a gamer handing over 
hard-earned dollars to be the first on the 
block to own it has no guarantee that the 
system will ever even successfully leave 
the launch pad. Even established consoles 
can suddenly fail — especially if 
superceded by more powerful rivals. 

In the run-up to the holiday 

season of 1996, there are three major 
home consoles vying for your gaming 
dollar — Nintendo’s 64, Sega’s Saturn, and 
Sony’s PlayStation. Obviously, the PC is a 
viable game platform also, but since a it 
costs ten times the price of a TV-based 
console, Next Generation doesn’t 
believe that it is in the same market. Also, 
we don’t believe that M2 will launch with 
any kind of muscle within the next 12 
months, so we wouldn’t advise holding off 


MARKETING 

MUSCLE 

Sell, sell, sell! 

Total marketing budget, 
Oct-December: $XX million 

t’s been said that doing 

I business without 
advertising is like 
winking at a girl in the 
dark — you know what 
you are doing, but nobody else does. 

Indeed, it’s true to say that how a 
product is marketed is just as 
important as the product itself when 
it comes to selling large numbers to 
mainstream America. Sure, a diehard 
gamer may know better, but for many 
many ordinary citizens out there, the 
only thing known about which system 
to buy is what’s learned from Sega, 
Sony, and Nintendo’s TV commercials. 
The console giants know this, and the 
three will combine to spend $164 
million on marketing this quarter. 



ng special 


THE S T 0 

R 

Y SO FAR 

Where (and from whom) did the console come from? 

nyone who was aware 


useful to know where it has come 

of Atari’s financial 


from. 

health as it launched 


As mentioned elsewhere in this 

Jaguar could have 


feature, it’s difficult to place trust in 

predicted the system’s 


any videogame hardware company 

failure. More cynically, anyone 


(it’s too easy for success or failure to 

aware of Atari’s track record with 


be reversed overnight). But that’s not 

new hardware would have probably 


to say that it’s not worth studying a 

come to the same conclusion. The 


system’s roots: Why was it launched? 

point is that 


What is the parent company trying to 

in trying to 


achieve? How committed is this 

work 


company to its system’s success? And 



— bottom line — how powerful is 

where 


the parent company, anyway? 

something 


Obviously, the answers to these 

* is going. 


questions will help any gamer decide 



which console has the best backing. 



on a purchase in 
anticipation of 
Matsushita getting its 
act together. So the choice for gamers is 
really between these three major 
platforms. But before we get started on 
the merits of each system, it’s worth 
reflecting on why we have to make such a 
difficult decision in the first place. 

All diehard gamers have 

been suckered by ill-fated new technology 
at least once (and if you haven’t, you 
probably haven’t been taking enough 
chances). Recent examples of videogame 
hardware that left gamers stranded 
include 3DO, Jaguar, 32X,Virtual Boy, 
TurboGrafxl 6, and Sega CD. The problem 
is that at the start of a system’s life, a 
gamer has to place a lot of trust in the 
hardware and the company behind it. But 
one thing that the ups and downs of Atari, 
Nintendo, and Sega (and the rise from 
nowhere of Sony) prove is that it’s difficult 
to trust any company in this business for 
longer than five minutes. Today’s winner 


can become tomorrow’s struggling loser 
faster than most gamers can say 
“Welcome to the next level.” 

So why isn’t there one single 
videogame format, in the same way that 
there is just one format of CD player, or 
VCR, or TV, or audio tape player? Most 
consumer electronics products follow 
some form of industry standard. In this 
way, you can be sure that all makes of TVs 
plug in to all makes of VCRs, and that 
CDs from all record labels work on CD 
players from all hi-fi manufacturers. But 



Boosters, gizmos, add-ons 

n an attempt to both 

I keep initial hardware 
prices low and prolong 
a console’s lifespan (and 
maybe even make a 
little additional profit along the way), 
all manufacturers release a peripheral 
or two. Each of the three main 
console contenders has an expensive, 
high-profile add-on in the works. And 
these, as well as the console itself, 
have to be considered when 
evaluating the strengths, weaknesses, 
and potential of each system. 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 











NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


ng special 



GAMES 


So how good are the actual games? This is the most 


important — and complex 

here’s a saying that 

T nobody wants an 

electronic drill — they 
want holes in a wall. The 
same is true with 

videogaming. No one buys a game 
machine because they feel a desire to 
own a stylish lump of grey plastic — 
they want to play games. 

So obviously, it is the games 
themselves that should be the number 
one priority in deciding which system 
to own. But even this decision isn’t as 
straightforward as it may seem. 

Given that you can’t have 

everything (unfortunately, this world 
isn’t perfect) would you rather have 
quality or quantity of games? Can you 
live without sports titles? Do you have 
to have that favorite arcade conversion? 



TECH 


The black art of 
crunching numbers 

t’s becoming 
increasingly difficult to 
compare system 
specifications on a hard 
number-by-number 
basis. As technology becomes more 
and more sophisticated, terms like 
“polygons per second” have less and 
less meaning. Still, most people like 
knowing exactly what their systems 
can do. For them we’ve provided the 
most complete tech specs ever 
published. While it’s meaningless to 
try to use these specs to compare 
systems directly (anyone want to 
argue that the Jaguar’s 64 bits make it 
more powerful than PlayStation?), 
these specs give an idea of the 
different systems’ potential. 


— category of them all 

is the magic of the supposed “best game 
ever” lost on you? Are your 
gaming tastes broad? Or are you 
looking for a lot of titles in a 
particular gaming genre? 

There are many questions v 
gamers must ask themselves. 
Additionally, there are 
questions to ask the people 
making these games: How 
easy is the system to work 
with? Have we seen all 
that it has to offer, or is 
there potential for 
greater games in the 
future? All these factors 
make the difference 
between a console that can 
provide great gameplay over the 
distance, and one that will fail 
early on in its lifespan. 


have you tried plugging a Jaguar cart into a 
PlayStation? Why doesn’t this one 
particular industry work the same way as 
the TV,VCR, or hi-fi industry? What gives? 

There are three reasons why 
videogaming doesn’t tow the standard line. 
Reason one is that videogaming is still a 
very young, immature (in the business 
sense) industry. And with immaturity 
comes volatility — and hence the 
rollercoaster, “boom to bust” ride that 
hardware companies have experienced 
over videogaming’s 25 short years. Each 
new generation of hardware wipes the 
industry’s slate clean, with success in one 


generation — so far at least — never 
guaranteeing success in the next. 

Reason two has to do with the 
importance of technological evolution. All 
consumer electronics industries — 
including CD players,TVs,VCRs, and 
videogames — include both software and 
hardware. The CD business has music 
(software) and CD players (hardware). 

The TV industry has TV 
shows and movies 
(software) and TV sets 
(hardware). But 
videogaming is the 
only industry in 
which the end 
experience is 
extensively 
reliant on both 
software and 
hardware. Sure, 
a $2,000 big 
screen TV is 
going to display a better 
picture than a $200 portable, 
B — but essentially the viewing 
experience is the same 
(the TV show is either 
enjoyable, or it sucks). 
Not so with a videogame 
platform, where technological muscle can 
revolutionize the gaming experience (Super 
Mario 64 simply would not be possible on 
last year’s technology). Hence, as long as 
gamers continue to demand bigger and 
brighter software, technology has to keep 
up. And that means the regular 
introduction of new platforms. 

The third, and perhaps most 
weighty reason, why videogaming refuses 
to settle down to one unified standard has 
to do with how the hardware companies 
make money. Because game systems are 
traditionally aimed at kids, the price of a 
new Sega, Sony, or Nintendo console has 




UNDER THE HOOD 

Pamela Lee isn't the only one packing some sexy silicon... 


■ o one buys a car without 

N looking under the hood, 
but few stores will rip 
open an N64 on request, 
so we’ve done it for you. 
Checking out the innards of a system 
is important for a couple of reasons. 
First, being able to ascertain the neatness 


of the electrical engineers who designed 
the system can tell volumes about a 
system’s design and potential. 

Also, frankly, it’s simply interesting to 
see systems at a chip level, complete with 
identifications of key chips and areas on 
the board. And, finally, we’ve gotten 
hundreds of letters asking us to do it. 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 









ng special 




to be kept low. Early on in the history of 
home consoles Nintendo figured out that 
if they could ensure future profits from 
software, then they could afford to sell 
their hardware systems at little or no 
profit. In many cases, videogame hardware 
is actually sold at a loss. 

The flip side of this coin, however, is 
that to guarantee software profits, the 
hardware manufacturer also has to have 
control of the software market. And that 
means either releasing all the games itself 
(not practical — gamers demand a large 
library of software), or making sure that 
when someone else makes a game for its 
system, it takes a healthy slice of the 
profits. And this, through licensing and 
manufacturing fees, is exactly what Sega, 
Sony, and Nintendo do. 

The only way to ensure this software 
control, however, is to own all the patents 
and rights to the particular hardware that 
the software is written for. And that 
means designing a proprietary system. 


Eventually, it is expected that 

the videogame industry will fall into line 
with other forms of consumer electronics 



(or so many experts think). But the failure 
ofTrip Hawkins’s to introduce such a 
unified standard with 3DO showed 


everyone just how far off this dream is. 

Which brings us back to our starting 
point: Buying a new videogame platform 
in 1996 can be a risky investment. A 
console’s success doesn’t just depend on 
the raw power of the hardware (GameBoy 
outsold Atari’s Lynx). It doesn’t just 
depend on being the first with new 

technology (TurboGrafx 
CD, anyone?). It 
doesn’t just depend 
on having the best 
game (there’s still no 
guarantee that 
Nintendo 64 will 


catch up with 
PlayStation). It 
doesn’t just depend 
on having the 
neatest marketing 
gimmick (Jaguar 
was “the world’s 


first 64-bit game 
console!”). And it 
doesn’t just depend on 
being the cheapest (it’s 
now possible to pick up 
a 3DO for under $100 


— but are you buying?) 
The harsh reality 


is that the “best” system, the console that 
will offer the best gaming experience both 
today and tomorrow, is often the one that 
thrives best in the marketplace. The 
system that sells the most has the 
brightest looking future, as success secures 
future support from game developers, and 
drives prices down. Market forces at 
work, ladies and gentlemen — it’s an often 
harsh, but nevertheless beautiful thing. 

And what determines a game system’s 
commercial success? There are five main 
factors: hardware muscle, software 
support, the library of games both 
currently available and due to be released, 
the marketing strategy promoting the 
system, and the future prognosis of the 
system, based on the resources and will of 
the manufacturer, and where the system is 
in its life cycle. Each of these factors, for 
each machine, is discussed over the 
following pages. 

In the end, though, it doesn’t 

matter which system you own, as long as 
you enjoy it. It’s been said that to some, 
videogaming is a matter of life and death, 
but that to Next Generation and its 
readers, it’s a lot more important than 
that. It’s true — but only because 
it can be so much fun. era 


T E C H N 
LOGY 



Useful benchmark, 
or red herring? 

omparing system 
hardware can be 
deceiving. Can N64 be 
on top, with 64-bit 
chips, if it can only store 
12MB of data on carts versus 650MB 
for PlayStation? Is PlayStation’s 
hardware design too elegant, removing 
the possibility for future price cuts 
through hardware integration? Does 
Saturn have more potential, and thus 
more power, than PlayStation? 

The answers aren’t always clear, and 
often vary depending on individual 
needs and desires (an RPG fan will 
probably want a system with more 
storage space than a puzzle game 
junkie). But while technology must be 
carefully considered before any 
purchase decision is made, it should 
never be the only purchase criterion. 



CONCLUSION 


The bottom line — should 

f course, the ideal 
solution is to own one 
of each systems. But for 
most gamers, this simply 
isn’t an alternative — 
and this means making a choice. 

Next Generation wouldn’t have 
the reputation it does if it didn’t step 
up to the plate with an actual opinion. 
Thus, each segment in this piece ends 
with a hype-free analysis of each 
system’s merits, its strengths, its 
weaknesses, its future potential, and 
our opinion as to whom we would 
recommend each system as a purchase 
— if we recommend it at all. 

And of course there are 

ratings. Each system has been rated on 
the basis of demonstrable technological 
prowess (seeing is believing), the 
marketing strength of the parent 
company, the state of the existing 


you buy this system or not? 

software library, how this looks likely to 
change in the future, whether the 
system is peaking or still on the rise, 
and then a final score (not necessarily 
the average of the other scores). 

System Scores 

Demonstrable hardware power 
★ ★★★★ 

Current software library 
★ ★★★★ 

Future software prognosis 
★ ★★★★ 

Marketing muscle 
★ ★★★★ 

Overall future prognosis 
★ ★★★★ 

Final score 
★★★★★ 



41 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 














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ng special 




_ Format: Sony PlayStation 

_ Launched: December 3,1994 

U.S. Release Date: September 9,1995 

_ Origin: Japan _ 

_ U.S. sales: 1.7 million _ 

Worldwide sales: 6.1 million _ 

_ U.S. titles: 140 approx _ 

Worldwide titles: 350 approx _ 

U.S. retail Price: $199 


PlayStation raced quickly to the head of the 32-bit 
pack. But now that Nintendo 64's joined the next- 
generation race, can Sony's first game system maintain 
its lead? With a large library of games, many say yes. 
But with a questionable software strategy and under¬ 
powered compared to its 64-bit rival, many also say no 


Next Generation Online, http://www.next-generatlon.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


















NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


ng special 



From nothing to greatness — PlayStation is a 
videogame success story. But can Sony successfully 
fend off the push from Nintendo 64? 



W 


hen consumer 
electronics giant Sony 
decided to launch a 
game console, it didn’t 
do it by halves — 
despite carrying the 
baggage of its ill-fated “partnership” 
with Nintendo to produce a CD-ROM 
drive for the Super NES. Now, 
PlayStation is the world’s number one 
selling next-generation game console. 

Sony was founded just 

after World War II, as a producer of 
value-priced consumer electronics. The 
company prospered in Japan’s post-war 
boom, and, thanks to innovative 
developments like the Walkman and 
Trinitron TV picture tube, quickly grew. 
Despite some well publicized failures 
(Betamax and the ill-fated Columbia 
studios debacle are two “highlights”), the 
company has had a fairly good track 
record with new ventures — something 
the PlayStation story won’t change. 

The company’s entry into the game 
industry was hastened by the arrival of 
Nintendo’s Game Boy in 1989. 

Allegedly, Sony’s head of R&D severely 
chastised his development teams, 
contending that “Game Boy should have 
been a Sony product!” In any event, 
Sony’s mind was set, and its gaming 


initiative — which had 
previously amounted to 
half-heartedly promoting 
the doomed MMX home 
computing standard in the 
’80s and producing the 
NES and Super NES sound 
chips for Nintendo — 
began to gain momentum. 

In 1988, 18 months 
prior to the launch of the 
Super NES, Sony had inked 
a deal with Nintendo to 
produce a CD-ROM drive 
for Super NES, based on a 
proprietary Sony format 
called Super Disc. In 1990, 
with Super NES looking as 
if it could equal the success of the world 
conquering 8-bit NES, Sony believed it 
had the foothold it had been looking for. 

In addition to its collaboration with 
Nintendo, Sony planned another product 
based on the same SuperDisc format. 

The unit would be Sony-branded, be 
based on Nintendo’s 16-bit Super NES 
architecture, and be called the 
PlayStation. The real advantage of this 
plan to Sony was that it would be the 
exclusive world-wide licensor for Super 
Disc format games, an arrangement 
which — unsurprisingly — .... 

irked Nintendo’s ego. 

Sony announced its 
deal with Nintendo to an 
eager games industry in ^ 

Chicago on the first day of 
the Summer 1991 
Consumer Electronics 
Show (CES). But in a 
nightmare scenario for 
Sony, Nintendo chose the 
second day of the show to 
reveal that it had changed 
its mind and was now 
planning a CD-ROM add-on 
for Super NES exclusively with Philips. 
Sony was hung out to dry, as Nintendo 
simultaneously thwarted a potential rival 
from entering the game industry through 
the back door, and allied itself with 


/ 




Terry Tokunaka has 
led PlayStation to 
success — so far 


Philips’s promising CD-I system. 

"They stabbed us in the back,” 
lamented Sony exec Olaf Olafsson at 
the time (as quoted in David Scheff’s 
Game Over). Still, Sony went ahead 
with its Super NES-based PlayStation, 
hoping that details with Nintendo 
could be resolved. They weren’t, and 
although the PlayStation reached the 
production stage, it was never 
shipped (two or three hundred still 
muster in Sony offices worldwide). 

Sony’s dreams of 

videogame domination didn’t die with 
the original PlayStation, however, and 
a new 32-bit version of the system, 
code-named PlayStation X (or PS-X 
for short) was designed by Sony 
hardware guru Ken Kutaragi. 

Kutaragi, who had previously designed 
the Super NES sound hardware, had a 
vision, formed partly by his 
discussions with friends at Namco. 
The vision was for an exceptionally 
powerful home system, which would 
be optimized for 3D, easy to develop 
for, and "elegantly” designed. 

His vision became PlayStation, his 
design was a triumph, and Sony — 
having learned from its Betamax 
debacle — backed it up with a superb 
launch on December 3, 1994, with 
games from a number of exclusive 
developers. What Sony lacked in in- 
house gaming expertise (its Sony 

Imagesoft efforts for Super 
NES and Genesis were 
atrocious), it made up for 
with a sweetheart deal with 
Namco, throwing money at 
Williams for the exclusive 
rights for Mortal Kombat III, 
and purchasing U.K.-based 
Psygnosis. Sure — Sony 
bought its way in, but the 
efforts have paid off. 

Of the next-generation 
systems, PlayStation is top- 
ranked in Europe and the 
U.S. and remains neck-and- 
neck with Sega in Japan. It has an 18- 
month headstart on Nintendo, and 
early sales figures from Japan indicate 
that PlayStation sales have actually 
increased since Nintendo 64’s launch. 


I 


\ 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 





ng special 



MARKETING MUSCLE 


After a launch that saw a sharp execution of a 
conventional videogame marketing strategy, Sony is 
now trying to break the mold 

Total marketing budget, 

Oct-Dec 1996: $50 million 

layStation’s original 
1995 U.S. marketing 
push was coordinated 
by agency Chiat-Day in 
L.A. (the same 
company that created 
Apple’s “1984” Macintosh campaign). It 
aimed squarely at 17-year old males, 
under the (questionable) notion that 
older gamers, when they play, revert 
psychologically into 1 7-year olds the 
second the controller hits sweaty palm. 

After Sony’s 
aborted attempt at 
creating a mascot, 

Polygon Man, the 
campaign used 
Sophia from 
Toshinden as 
PlayStation’s 
mascot. The TV 
spots featured 
lightning fast jump- 



cuts, quick shots of gameplay, attitude¬ 
laden characters, and a taunting tagline: 
“You are not ” (red “e” — ready — 
geddit?). TV ads de-emphasized the Sony 
brand (presumably, gamers associated it 
Imagesoft dogs like Johnny Mnemonic). At 
point of purchase, however, the Sony 
name was more prominent, to lure in a 
more traditional audience (parents). 

While we suppose it takes 

skill to come up with new ways to "shock” 
an increasingly jaded audience, Sony’s initial 
campaign did nothing to challenge Sega’s 
dominance. In 1996, however, things are 
different. Sega’s ads 
seem to be haunted 
by the ideas of 
yesteryear, 

Nintendo’s are 
typical too, but Sony’s 
stand out. 

The Crash ads. 
featuring an obvious 
"guy in a bandicoot 
suit” parading 



outside Nintendo’s Seattle HQ appeal to 
many levels of gamers. Kids will like the 
big bandicoot with attitude, older gamers 
may appreciate the irony of the "guy in 
the suit” just doing his job and chatting 
with the guard as he is led away. 

As for print and at point of purchase, 
Sony’s materials are more orthodox, 
although we have to admit the ads for 
Twisted Metal 2 are great. 

So is Sony’s marketing cool? Yes. As 
awesome as Sega’s holiday ’95 stuff? Not 
quite. But compared to the competition, 
Sony looks to walk away with the 
number one marketing spot this year, 
safe in the knowledge that PlayStation is 
still the“hippest” (if not the most 
powerful) console on the block. 


OPTIONAL EXTRAS 


Make you own PlayStation games? Is Sony serious? 
Yes, it is. And this could be the best peripheral yet seen 




Until next month, when NG exclusively reveals 
the details of Sony's “Let's Create" program, 
very little Yarouze information is available 


et’s Create (the name 
will change to Yarouze, 
which roughly translates 
as "do it!" before the 
system is released in the 
U.S. early next year) is 
Sony’s best idea since PlayStation. 

The system, which sells in Japan for 
$1,200, includes a special black 
PlayStation, a serial cable, and some 
software. Poof! Instant development kit. 
Write a game on your Mac or PC, play 
it on your PlayStation. Put the code 
online and anyone else with a Yarouze 
set-up can play your games. Sony will 
also sponsor an Internet-based club for 
Yarouze members to exchange programs 


and information. 

One of the best things about the PC 
is that the barrier to entry as a 
developer is almost zero, meaning “some 
kid in a garage," has as much (if not 
more, since he or she is unfettered by 
marketing committees, bottom lines, and 
bureaucracy) chance of creating "the 
next big thing,” as Id,Activision, or 
Microsoft. With Yarouze, Sony enables 
budding developers everywhere to work 
with the PlayStation. And since Sony has 
the right of first refusal on anything 
created with the kit, if some kid does do 
the next big thing using Yarouze, it will be 
exclusive to PlayStation. 

Look for a world-exclusive in-depth 
feature on Yarouze and how you can 
make PlayStation games in next month’s 
Next Generation. 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 












NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


TECH SPECS 


ng special 




It's no N64, but it's no slouch either 



he PlayStation technology is largely the result 
of Ken Kutaragi’s vision. While Sega was 
I working on a new 2D console (Saturn was 
given a 3D processing boost only at the last 
minute) and Atari and 3DO thought that flat- 
shaded polygons would be more than anyone could ask for, 
Kutaragi asked where technology would be in five years, then 
built that system. He calls PlayStation a “graphics synthesizer,” 
and its 3D strength — 300,000 polygons per second — is no 
accident. 

No one should 
underestimate 
PlayStation’s influence on 
the direction of game 
design in this decade, 
with PlayStation’s early 
demonstrations of real, 
fast, textured, 3D worlds 
truly heralding a new era. 

The heart and soul of this 
performance is its 
dedicated GPU which the 
PC, with no affordable 
3D accelerator of 
comparable performance, 
has yet to match. 


with a prototype PlayStation board 
just before the system’s launch 


To bolster the system’s raw polygon-pushing 
power, PlayStation offers game developers a straightforward 
development environment with hundreds of libraries (off-the- 
shelf code for doing specific things like, say, drawing trees 
quickly) for programmers to use. This has helped developers 
get up to speed quickly ( Ridge Racer was translated from 
arcade to PlayStation in under six months), although it has led 
to a distinctive “PlayStation look” in many lower-budget titles 
that rely too heavily on the libraries. It has also led to 
speculation that while much of Saturn’s power has yet to be 
harnessed, PlayStation is pretty much maxed out 

While this argument may hold some water, second- 
generation software such as WipeOut XL, Formula One, and 
Destruction Derby 2 does much to blunt this damaging notion. 
Many 1996 PlayStation titles are clearly better than their 1995 
counterparts — and are certainly no less improved than any of 
Sega’s post -Virtua Fighter 2 and Sega Rally output for Saturn. 

Indeed, software design is improving constantly. With 
more developers incorporating superfast assembly language 
into their code (as opposed to programming exclusively in C), 
the real indicators of PlayStation’s power — the finished 
games — continue to take dramatic steps forward. 

However, PlayStation is ultimately a 32-bit system, and has 
to be considered — technologically speaking — weaker than 
Nintendo 64. So now the challenge for Sony is to make sure 
that PlayStation developers continue to build on prior 
success, and maximize its two year headstart over Nintendo 
64 up the 3D development curve. 


The tale of the tape is revealed 


PERIPHERALS 

Analog Joystick 
Controller 
Memory Card 
Link Cable 


ENGINE '(ML!EC) 

Operating performance - 80 MIPS 
Directly connected to CPU bus 


RFU Adapter 
S-Video Adapter 
Multitap Unit 

CPU 


HARDWARE RENDERED 
POLYGONS (GPU) 

Up to 360,000 poiygons/sec. 

Texture mapping 

Flat or Gouraud shading 


32-bit RISC processor @ 33.8688MHz 
Operating performance - 30 MIPS 
Instruction Cache - 4 KB 
Data Cache - I KB 
BUS - 132 MB/sec. 

CD-ROM DRIVE 
Data Transfer Rate (DMA TO RAM): 
ISO KB/sec. (Normal) 

300 KB/sec. (Double speed) 
Maximum Capacity - 660 Megabytes 
Features: 

Audio CD play 
XA Interactive Audio 

GRAPHICAL CAPABILITY 

NTSC Display Resolution: 

Mode Resolution (H xV) 

0 256x480 

1 320x480 

2 384x480 

3 512x480 

4 640x480 
(non-interlaced) 

5 256x480 

6 320x480 

7 384x480 

8 512x480 

9 640x480 
(interlaced) 


INPUT/OUTPUT 
SYSTEM OVERVIEW 
Control Pad 

Expandable with multitap connector 

Backup RAM 

Two removable cards 

128 KB Flash Memory 

OS support for File Save, Retrieve and 

Remove 

Serial Port I/O 

Link Cable Connectivity 

MEMORY CONFIGURATION 
Main RAM: 2 Megabytes 
Video RAM: I Megabyte 
Sound RAM: 512 Kilobytes 
CD ROM buffer: 32 Kilobytes 
OS ROM: 512 Kilobytes 

SOUND PROCESSOR 

24 Channels 
44.1 KHz sample rate 
PCM audio source 
Digital effects include: 

Envelope 

Looping 

Supports MIDI Instruments 


COLOR DEPTH 

Mode Colors 

4 16 

8 256 

15 32,768 

24 16,777,216 


BACKGROUND GRAPHICS 

Virtually Unlimited: 

Size (up to 2S6 x 256) 
Number of sprites on a line 
Number of sprite images 
Number of CLUTs 


All calculations are performed to 24-bit 
accuracy. Texture mapping color mode: 
4-bit CLUT (16 Colors) 

8-bit CLUT (256 Colors) 

15-bit direct (32768 Colors) 

ZD GRAPHICAL CAPABILITY 

Sprite display capability: Ixl pixels to 
256x256 pixels 


SPRITE SPECIAL EFFECTS 

Rotation 
Scaling up/down 


Transparency 

Fading 

Priority 

Vertical line scroll 
Horizontal line scroll 


SPRITE SIXE 

BIT DEPTH 
4-bit 8-bit 16-bit 

8x8 40K 70K 11 OK 

16x16 I60K 280K 640K 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 













ng special 




rrer2E2oL 


CAUTION 
EB ATTENTH 


The PlayStation’s motherboard has been only subtly updated since its launch, with component changes in the power 
supply being the most “exciting” tweaks. Here’s a run down on the chips under PlayStation’s hood: 


CPU (a 33 MHz R3000 running at 30MIPS) containing the 66MIPS Geometry Transfer Engine (GTE), the 
DMA controller, and Sony’s 80MIPS proprietary MDEC video decompression hardware. MDEC gives full-screen 
high-quality video playback and can also decompress graphics into RAM 

Operating System ROM, initiating the boot-up sequences on switching-on (this is where the start-up sound 
and PlayStation logo is stored) 

GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) handling everything that’s drawn onscreen 
2MB DRAM (main RAM) 

1MB VRAM (video RAM) 

16-bit sound processing unit delivering 24 channels of ADPCM @ 44.1 KHz 
512KB sound RAM 

CD controller, containing a CD-ROM-XA converter (enabling up to eight simultaneous streams of mixed audio 
and CD data) and buffer RAM 

Digital Signal Processor (DSP) for CD drive. This chip has been upgraded slightly since the launch of the unit 
16-bit digital audio converter 

Video decoder and encoder. NTSC (U.S.) or PAL (Europe) signal decoder, sending signal to TV 




Ami. 

5 ijr. 


1 



19’ ■■ 


* * <1 


l 

h' —-is in ■■ ■ - 


51 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 



















PREPARE FOR THE MOSfEXPLOSIVE CONTRA EVER! 


3*0 GLASSES INCLUDED 
WITH PLAYSTATION VERSION 
www.konami.com 


Cootr.i ■ .nut Konami'■ are re. 
’layStallon™ and Ihc PlayStation' 


■milks ol Konami Co., Ltd. Legacy ot War™ is a trademark ot 
i ademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc Sega Saturn' 


Inc ■ > 1996 Konami Co*; Ltd. All nghts Reserved. © 1996 Konami (America) In. All rights 
Seri.) Fnlerpnses. Tire latmgs icon is a registered trademark of the Interactive Digital Solhv. 









GAMES 


So why is it so hard to find 15 great PlayStation games? 

^^^^^^^^(Ithough there is a big selection of good games for PlayStation, there 

A are worryingly few “classics.” It seems that Sony has all its bases 
covered, but with the possible exceptions of Wipeout and maybe 
Tekken 2, it has yet to find its Sonic the Hedgehog or Mor/'o. 

With its developer-friendly environment (it’s relatively 
straightforward to make PlayStation games) and dominant market 
position, PlayStation is the first priority of most developers, and the only choice for 
those with limited resources. Sounds good, right? Not necessarily. The system that 
attracts developers because "it’s easier,” is also going to tend to attract not only 
developers of the second and third tier, but also publishers who are interested in simply 
rushing out as many cookie-cutter games as possible. 

Of course, not all PlayStation developers are second-string or merely after a fast 
buck. But it does mean that when Sony brags of “over 140” titles in PlayStations library, 
it’s good to remember that it’s quality, not quantity, that ultimately counts (at least, once 
all game genres are well represented — take note Nintendo). 

Also, since PlayStation is currently the dominant platform, any third-party developer 
with the money to publish on just one platform will pick PlayStation. Fine, but there are 
far more bad games made than there are great games, and unfortunately PlayStation 
gets them all (Sega, on the other hand, often gets only the best of these games 
converted for play on Saturn). 

There is another troubling factor. Sony Computer Entertainment 
America has a somewhat suspect policy of approving (all PlayStation release have to be 
rubber-stamped by Sony officials) only games that showcase Sony’s 3D capabilities. 

While this worked well at launch to show off PlayStation’s graphic capabilities and 
differentiate itself from Saturn, this strategy ain’t gonna work against N64. 

Compounding this problem is an increasing dissatisfaction with 3D games (as articulated 
by Eugene Jarvis in NG 21). Perhaps Sony would be smart to reexamine its position. 

All that said, PlayStation will have the broadest library of quality software this holiday 
season, and probably throughout 1997. No matter what a user’s taste, he or she will 
find something to like on PlayStation. Thus for fans of lesser genres like, say, wrestling 
games, N64 is simply not an option (and this is why Sony and Sega are promoting their 
“ 100+” titles as hard as they can). Also, with a packed stable of software in the 
standard genres, Sony can afford to devote promotional effort to more esoteric titles, 

like ArtDink’s Tail of the Sun or 
PaRappa the Rapper. 

Finally, despite N64’s 64-bit 
graphic power, PlayStation’s 
should not be underestimated. 
Some second-generation titles 
are very impressive ( WipeOut XL 
looks almost — almost — as 
good as WaveRace 64), the sports 
market that drove the success of 
Genesis is now owned by 
PlayStation, and there are some 
fantastic games on PlayStation 
that simply have not been done 
as well on competing platforms. 
NFL GameDay 2, Tekken 2,Jumping 
Flash2! (notice they are all 
sequels) are great, great games 
— and only available on 
PlayStation. But how quickly will 
N64’s library catch up? 



Tekken 2 Publisher: Namco 

Developer: Namco 
Released: Out Now 



Namco’s answer to Virtua Fighter 2 is 
better on PlayStation than in arcades, 
thanks to additional modes (first-person 
and training). The debate about Tekken 2 
vs. VF2 still rages at NG’s office, but all 
acknowledge T2’s dominance on PS-X 

NFL Publisher: SCEA 

GameDay ’97 Developer: SCEA 


Released: Out Now 



Last year, with EA’s Madden out of the 
picture, Sony had a perfect opportunity to 
steal the videogame football title. It did 
just this, with a surprisingly impressive 
game that brought football up to 32-bit 
speed. The '97 update looks even better 


Jumping Publisher: SCEA 

Flash! 2 Developer: SCEI 

Released: Out Now 



Before Mario, the Jumping Flash! series 
was the sterling example of how to do a 
platform game in 3D — and it’s still the 
best example on PlayStation. Innovative 
gameplay, quirky graphics and music added 
up to a critical (if not commercial) hit 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


53 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 









NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


ng special 



Publisher: SCEA 
Dev: Psygnosis 
Released: Out Now 


Battle Arena Pub: Playmates 

Tohshinden 2 Developer: Takara 

Released: Out Now 



The first Destruction Derby had plenty of 
flash, but not much depth — a problem 
common to first-generation PlayStation 
software. Thankfully, the sequel has flash 
and depth, and offers PlayStation gamers 
an excellent fun driving experience 


Still immensely popular, the Toshinden 
series shows no sign of slowing down. The 
title makes maximum use of the 
PlayStation’s special effects and offers 
gamers an element of fantasy and magic 
with their — albeit limited — 3D fighting 


Tomb Raider 


Publisher: EIDOS 
Developer: Core 
Released: Out Now 


NHL 

Face-Off ’97 


Publisher: SCEA 
Developer: SCEA 
Released: Out Now 



Tomb Raider (with hours of levels, 
immensely deep gameplay, and stunning 
graphics) takes the Prince of Persia and 
Flashback genre, and drags it kicking and 
screaming into the 3D world. The result is 
a triumph of classic gameplay 


As one of the remnants of the old 
ImageSoft, SCEA’s sports division had a lot 
to prove last year. But it rose to the 
challenge, and titles like NHL Face Off '97 
should show that Sony Sports has the 
staying power to play in the big leagues 


Resident Evil 


Publisher: Capcom 
Developer: Capcom 


PaRappa 
the Rapper 


Publisher: Sony 
Dev: SonyMusic 
Released: Q4 1996 


Final Fantasy 7 


Publisher: SCEA 
Dev: Square Soft 
Released: Q4 1997 




V 




Stealing Square from Nintendo was the 
coup of the year for Sony. Final Fantasy 7 
looks to be the most impressive console 
RPG ever, and having it exclusively for 
PlayStation is a guarantee of loyal fans in 
the Japanese and American markets 


Wipeout XL 



Publisher: SCEA 
Dev: Psygnosis 
Released: Out Now 

nosmon I 

s 


m , 4 \ 

. 

No other game better defines PlayStation. 
Wipeout XL offers a fast-paced, techno 
soundtrack over a graphically stunning 3D 
race game. Obviously inspired by 
Nintendo’s 16-bit F-Zero, this is as good as 
32-bit racing games get 


Tobal No.l 


Pub: SCEA 
Developer: Square 
Released: Out Now 



MiMm 

Taking the Alone in the Dark motif to the 
next level, Capcom scored a major hit with 
Resident Evil (it’s the world’s top-selling 
PlayStation game). If Capcom uses the 
profits to hire better voice talent, the 
Resident Evil franchise could run and run 



You’re a flat dog in a 3D world. You’re trying 
to get the girl (she’s a flat flower). How do 
you do it? You gotta believe! And you have to 
sing a bunch of rap songs. It’s awesome, 
trust us. It’s quirky titles like this that keep 
the PlayStation library fresh and diverse 


Published in the U.S. by Sony, this 
Gouraud-shaded fighter is a landmark in 
speed and high resolution graphics. If 
anything, this is PlayStation’s answer to 
Virtua Fighter 2, and marks the first 
fruits of Sony’s marriage to Square 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 







ng special 


G A 

MES 

WarCraft 2 

Publisher: EA 


Developer: Blizzard 
Released: Q2 1997 




! /T* 

I r fi 

| \\\\ 

n s 

. 1 



Warcraft 2 did phenomenally well on the 
PC, but Blizzard has wisely passed the 
tricky console conversion on to EA. How 
to translate the game’s multiplayer 
appeal is the big question, and will make 
the difference between a hit or a miss 


Disruptor Pub: Universal 



Dev: Universal 
Released: Out Now 


OK, OK, it looks a lot like Doom, but 
Disruptor is unique (and exclusive) to 
PlayStation, and has some of the finest 
level design and puzzles we've seen in a 
Doom clone. Also, the addition of 
psionics to the game is a nice touch 


OK, so essentially it’s just the same old 
2D platform game that we've been 
playing for years. But it sure looks good, 
and there's no denying Crash Bandicoot’s 
appeal to kids. But does Sony really want 
to put it up against Super Mario 64? 


Crash 

Bandicoot 


Pub: SCEA 
Dev: Naughty Dog 
Released: Out Now 



PlayStation: Worthy champion, or success by default? 

p until the arrival of Nintendo 64 in \* v > W 

U late September of this year, 

PlayStation’s debut on September 9, ^ 

1995 was the most successful ^ 

videogame launch in U.S. history (Sony '£ 

shifted 100,000 PlayStations in one 

weekend; 300,000 Nintendo 64s were sold over four ® 

days). Currently, there are 1.7 million PlayStations in 'T ^ © 

the U.S. and over 6 million worldwide. Even Nintendo ^ - ^ 

acknowledges that it will be impossible for N64 to 
catch up before this time next year. So on a global 
basis, PlayStation will be leading the pack for the foreseeable future. 

So is PlayStation a success story by default? Certainly, Sega is offering less 
competition by the day, and up until very recently Sony’s ascension to the top of the 
heap was blissfully Nintendo-free. Last year, we suggested that PlayStation’s first two 
years of empire building were like a game of SimCity with “disasters” turned off — 
the analogy still fits, but now “disasters” are very much turned on. It’s only going to 
get tougher for Sony from this point on. 

But this picture doesn’t give Sony the credit it deserves. PlayStation is 
a fine videogame console and offers great value for money at $ 199 (even more if it 
drops to $149 as many pundits predict). And there’s no real reason why PlayStation 
can’t continue to thrive even as Nintendo 64 gets up to speed. Positioned as a low- 
budget alternative to Nintendo 64, if Sony realizes the potential for cheaper software 
(born of using CDs instead of cartridges as its software medium) and continues to 
provide a breadth of games beyond that of Nintendo, there’s no reason why it should 
ever surrender its lead. Indeed, with Sony courting the older gamer and Nintendo 
sticking to its core child audience, the market could be neatly divided in half. 

In conclusion, if the magic of Super Mario 64 is lost on you, you enjoy the 
flexibility and choice that a wide range of software offers, and you’re not prepared to 
wait the 12 months it will take for a comparable Nintendo 64 line-up, then 
PlayStation should be your number one pick this holiday season. 


PlayStation 


Demonstrable 
hardware power 
★ ★★'/2 


Current software 
library 

Future software 
prognosis 

Marketing muscle 
★★★★ 


Overall future 
prognosis 
★★★★ 


Final score 
★★★★ 


55 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 














Drink beer, visit exotic lands, 
kill the inhabitants. 


Amazing Artificial Intelligence 
plays like it's got one. (A big one. 


lolence. 
le desic 


zxplosions. rrotamty. Its a 
led to become an obsession 














They're drunk. They're stupid. 
They're on your side. 


Sadist. Megalomaniac. Slightly less than attractive. Meet 
Commander Zod. You'll answer to him as you lead armies 
of beer-swilling, drunken robot soldiers from planet to 
planet, destroying everything that stands in your way. The 
game is called Z. It's got the depth of a strategy game, 
and the balls of an action game. Featuring the most realistic 
explosions out there, over 35 minutes of 3-D scenes and 
multi-player options for network and modem play. Z. 

Drink beer. Blow stuff up. It's going to get ugly. Really ugly. 





© 


"The action in Zcan be described in one word: intense." _ 

PC Gamer 


"Humorous, fast-paced and crowded with dismembered body parts and 

debris, Z promises to be a very stressful and challenging title that ups the 

ante on real-time wargaming." _ 

Computer Gaming World 


...Forget Warcraft; this game offers strategy, action and humor- 

with an incredible A.I. to back it all up." _ . 

Fusion 


Commander Zod is waiting, www.vie.com 


Z ©1996 The Bitmap Brothers. Licensed exclusively to Virgin Interactive Entertainment, Inc. From Renegade 
Software, a Warner Interactive Company.Virgin is a registered trademark of Virgin Enterprises, Ltd. 


PC CD-ROM 


It's a fight for Zod, for country and for 
beer. ( Not necessarily in that order.) 






* i ' V > 

>^d^AceOT^fiaiaJ-infeiligenc^ 
• ^J?-lets you>grow players from’'*’ 
• ; freshman to senior‘year.». 


Extensive recruiting feature 
let's you rebuild your team 
after each season of play. 


v Network and modem options 
let-you challenge your friends for 
* season or tournament play. 


Win tickets to the Final Four 
Visit our website for info. 
http://www.im.gte.com 


GTE Entertainment 


64 Division I Teams 


Network,arid Modern - to - Modem Play 


(tensive Recruiting 


d/sG'I Graph 


March Madness 


National Champion 


NCAA 


fcnj 

' 

:< 

•. 

if' 




ng special 




-Format: Sega Saturn - j w0 years a g 0 Sega s 16 -bit Genesis was on top of the 

u.s. Release Date: May n, 1995 videogame world. Now, with slow Saturn sales, a shortage 

- origin: Japan - 0 f |<j|| er g a mes, Sonic the Hedgehog on the injury list, and 

U.S. sales: 900,000 _ ... 

worldwide sales: 4 .i minion _ Sony and Nintendo gathering strength, Sega s looking 

,,, , , u -.s- titles: ^ a PP rox - third place dead in the face. Can it regain its lead? Can 

Worldwide titles: 240 approx _ r 

u.s. retail Price: $199 three systems survive? Will third be good enough? 


59 


Next Generation Online, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 

















NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


ng special 



THE STORY SO FAR 

Two years ago, at the start of videogaming's next generation, Sega was the hot 
favorite. 3DO was dead, Jaguar was dying, Nintendo was late, and Sony had no 
videogame experience. So what the hell went wrong? 

he Sega Saturn was the 6), and Sega was one of 

T first and only 32-bit the first developers of 

game system to come electronic arcade games 
from a dominant player (early hits included 
in the 16-bit era. And Zaxxon, Sub-Rock, and 
compared to the next-generation offerings Turbo). The rest, of 
of the time — 3DO and Jaguar — it was course, is history. After 

a leap ahead of the pack. It became the dismal performance of 

immediately obvious that Saturn’s Sega’s 8-bit Master 

technology was superior to anything else System, the Genesis — 
available at the time, and Virtua Fighter backed by then-president 

showcased it well. Tom Kalinske’s ultra-hip 

Maybe a week is a long time in politics, (and often imitated) 
but in the next-generation videogame race marketing campaign and a 
the 11 days after November 22, 1994 killer app in the form of 

must have seemed barely more than a Yuji Naka’s Sonic the 

heartbeat for Sega, because on December Hedgehog — established 
3 PlayStation joined the war. With Saturn itself as the cool 16-bit 

fortified by a seemingly insatiable Japanese system to own and stole 

appetite for all things Virtua Fighter, the over half the U.S. 

two systems have fought head to head in videogame market from 
Japan ever since, and there is still no clear under Nintendo’s nose, 
leader with both sides claiming Japanese Always cognizant of 

sales of around 3 million. the fact that new 

Despite a surprise early launch in the technology generates headlines and During the hype surrounding the unveiling 

U.S. on May 11, 1995, Saturn’s U.S. assault stimulates interest, Sega attempted to of The 3DO Company’s 32-bit technology, 

was crippled from the start by a keep 16-bit alive even as the introduction Sega’s Tom Kalinske bragged that “we have 

prohibitive price tag ($399 — a price that of Saturn was being planned. Sega a 32-bit machine waiting in the wings” — 

only a few months earlier Tom Kalinske, in launched several hardware add-ons for the his point being that it was the wrong time 

a Next Generation interview, had Genesis, including the Sega CD, Activator to launch a 32-bit system, 

admitted would appeal only to a “very, “VR” controller, Menacer light gun, and 

very limited market"), a meagre initial 32X 32-bit “upgrade.” This add-on Unfortunately, Wll©n it 

software lineup, a distinct lack of Virtua strategy failed and only served to dilute finally was the right time, Saturn had, to 

Fighter fever in the U.S., the perception what user base it had. Not only were some extent, withered on the vine. It was 

that the Saturn hardware was marginally most of the add-ons dismal products in only in 1993 after Sega officials discovered 

inferior to that of PlayStation — and (duh) and of themselves, they were supported, if the direction of PlayStation development 

no one knowing that it was coming. Sony at all, with software that was well below that serious 3D capabilities were 

bullishly claimed that it overtook Saturn’s B-quality. The result was a black eye for incorporated into the design (allegedly 

four-month headstart on just its first Sega’s reputation and a loss of consumer after an enraged Mr. Nakayama severely 

weekend of sales following September 9. confidence in a company that only a year chastised members of the development 

And despite rallying magnificently with or so before was proclaimed, on the team). The twin Hitachi CPUs bolted on 

Virtua Fighter 2, Sega Rally, and Virtua Cop covers of Wired and Business Week, “The as a last-minute fix somewhat explain why 

last holiday season, and occasional sales Next Big Thing.” Hence Saturn was many find Saturn’s innards “clumsy.” 

spikes following price drops and hot somewhat crippled from the start. Now, with Nintendo 64 released, 

software releases, Saturn has never shown The development of the Saturn PlayStation holding its own, and its 16-bit 

any sign of reliving its 15 minutes of fame. hardware itself is also somewhat cash cow looking decidedly slimmer each 

foreboding. In its initial incarnation, Saturn day, Sega finds itself in the most precarious 

Sega was founded in Japan bore a strong resemblance to the specs home market position it has been in since 

in 1954 by an American, David Rosen, an that would become 32X. Indeed, the the days of the Master System. Can Sega 

ex-airman who had been stationed in original successor to the Genesis was bounce back, or will Saturn be the 

Tokyo during the Korean War (see page designed a long time before its launch. TurboGrafx-16 of the next generation? 



Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 






ng special 




Can the kings of videogame TV ads ("Sega!") pull 
Saturn back from the brink of failure? 

Total marketing budget, 

Oct-Dec: $60 million 

ver since it picked 
Goodby, Berlin & 

Silverstein as its ad 
agency in 1992,Sega has 
been known for its 
cutting-edge ads. In 

fact, nearly every videogame ad campaign 
since Genesis has stolen from Sega’s 
shock-style campaigns to a greater or 
lesser extent. The patented “Sega!” yell 
and “Welcome to the next level” helped 
sell a generation of gamers on the 
Genesis, and Sega’s strategy of directly 
comparing itself to the dowdy Nintendo And while it helped Sega to an 
was a radical and successful departure in acceptable holiday season last year, it 
strategy for a Japanese company. didn’t do enough to overcome the 

PlayStation’s lead. That may be why, t 
but any ad or marketing holiday season, Sega will be bringing I 

campaign gets tired fast, ,,, the Sega Scream, 2 

so Sega adopted a , ^^ -3 i!£,T£n-» new “in-your-face’ 

different strategy for /^Pj H 1 1 1 #^^ shock campaign, 

the launch of Saturn. i Snore. 

First were the flat-out _ Jim - The trouble is 1 

weird "Theater of the j lllJ ^lT w ^ e ^ e 8 a pioneei 

Eye” spots with an “It’s * this style.it is now 

out there” message, ^ *• ^ extremely tired, ar 

then came the '•> • the new spots just 

astounding “A Little \ ^ seem vei y me to< 

Too Real” campaign. \ ^ ^ Especially when th 

The TV spots featured \ t are trying to prorr 

live action intros,followed \ ~l games that simply do 

by quick, jump cuts of \ / have that style in the 

gameplay. For instance, for \ / gameplay. MTV was 

Sega Rally, the spot showed i*\ . ® / perfect for spunky Sc 


mountaineers climbing a 

mountain, when suddenly, a \ Jj 

car cut from Sega Rally flew v AtA 

off the top and over their A ^ 

heads, before plunging into , /. 

the abyss. The spot for |T ^1 

Virtua Cop featured a gritty iP- 

atmospheric black and 

white shot of two cops *— 

heading towards certain 

death in a warehouse 

ambush. Sega’s then marketing director, 

Tim Dunley, described the shots as 

“more NYPD Blue than MTV." 

Hands down, the campaign was the 
best yet seen for a videogame system. 


And while it helped Sega to an 
acceptable holiday season last year, it 
didn’t do enough to overcome the 
PlayStation's lead. That may be why, this 
holiday season, Sega will be bringing back 
the Sega Scream, and a 
mmm ipj-vv new “in-your-face" 

rHLi I shock campaign. 

~ while Sega pioneered 

^ \ this style, it is now 

♦ extremely tired, and 

r~ the new spots just 

f seem very “me too.” 
Especially when they 

l I are trying to promote 

''* / games that simply do not 
i / have that style in their 

/ gameplay. MTV was 

. ® / fip perfect for spunky Sonic, 

r f but not for mild- 

,vV mannered Nights. It may 

, , /t*/ / be that Sega’s new 
A >Zji agency, Ingalls-Moranville 

\\ u/j / wi ^ ta k e some time to 
11 * W get up to speed, it may 

' -r S II t ^ iat Se § a ' s a h'aid of 

; , V. || taking risks and falling 
.i IjjL further behind Sony, it 

--I may be that the top level 

_J / of Sega’s marketing 

department was purged 
after E3, or it may just be bad luck — but 
what we’ve seen of Sega’s marketing 
campaign this holiday season is simply not 
the impressive, innovative stuff we have 
come to expect from Sega. 


OPTIONAL 

EXTRAS 

Is Sega's NetLink a way 
to differentiate and add 
value to Saturn, or just a 
next-generation 32X? 



The NetLink itself is a diminutive, well 
designed piece of hardware, not like 
the ungainly Sega CD or 32X 



Ithough Sega has an 
exceptionally poor 
track record with 
hardware add-ons, 
this holiday season it’s 
ready to try it again. 
This time, though, its product looks 
more impressive than in years past. 

NetLink is a 28.8k baud modem 
for Saturn that attaches through the 
cartridge port, comes with browser 
software on a CD, and lets you surf 
the web via your TV. The software is 
impressive, and at under $ 200 , 

NetLink and Saturn combined truly 
make a network “PC” for under $500. 

Although NetLink will enable 
network gameplay and connection to 
online services (X-Band Saturn is up in 
Japan and planned for the U.S.), so far 
no games support it. So for now, 
NetLink simply enables users to 
browse the web on a TV. Quite how 
much this constitutes the elusive "killer 
app" remains to be seen, but one thing 
is clear: With the release of NetLink, 
Sega has walked where, for the longest 
time, computer industry visionaries 
have only talked. 

So will gamers (or anyone else) 
bite? It’s unknown, but Sega deserves 
credit for trying. Hopefully, NetLink 
isn’t merely the next add-on in its 
increasingly full closet of shame. 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 







NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


G 


TECH SPECS 


ng special 


TECHNOLO 


62 


Saturn: hidden depth or in over its head? 

he Saturn was designed from the start to be 
economical, so the designers at Sega made an 
early decision to use only off the shelf parts and 
eschew any custom chips — this immediately 
compromises the technology. To get an 
acceptable level of 3D power, a dual processor 
system was introduced late in Saturn’s development However, 
because the dual processors both need to access the same 
memory cache, it is difficult — if not impossible — to get the 
processors running in true parallel, especially when using a high- 
level language like C (programming in assembly language is the 
only way to get truly fast results). “It’s a real coder’s machine,” 
said Andy Beveridge, designer of the PSY-Q development system 
for Saturn at the time of its launch, “but it’s going to take some 
time before we see what it can really do.” 

Ultimately, it’s obvious that Saturn Was 

designed at the apex of the 2D side-scrolling/fighting game 
heyday and did not anticipate the brave new world of the third 
dimension. Trying to compete with PlayStation’s 3D power, 
Saturn somewhat resembles your dad trying to dance to techno. 

This, coupled with the fact that there is almost no operating 
system for the Saturn — giving programmers direct access to 
almost 100% of the hardware — makes developing for the 
Saturn extremely troublesome (as illustrated by the first 
generation of software). Shortly after launch, AM2 head Yu 
Suzuki remarked, “I think only one in 100 programmers are good 
enough to get [the same speed AM2 has] out of the Saturn.” 

These programming headaches, Saturn’s lack of PlayStation’s 
sophisticated hardware graphics features (such as transparency), 
and the lackluster quality of the first Saturn software made 
consumers perceive the 
system as inferior to 
Sony’s PlayStation. 

However, two things 
have changed. First, Sega 
of Japan released several 
newAM2 developed 
graphics libraries, and two, 
developers are now more 
used to the machine’s 
complex architecture. 

Tides like Nights and Power 
Play show that while the 
Saturn may not be as 
glitzy as the PlayStation, it 
is no 32X. 

Saturn technology may 
lack both the immediate 
brute force and custom 
features of N64 or 
PlayStation, but it is 
capable of more than 
we’ve seen. The question 
is, will we ever see it? 




Greater than the sum of its (many) parts? 


Analog mission joystick 

Arcade racer analog steering controller 

Analog/digttal swftchable controller 

Analog joypad 

Memory backup cart 

Link cable (Japan) 

Mouse with pad 
Keyboard 

RFU adapter 
S-Video adapter 
Multitap unit 


2 Hitachi 32-bit RISC SH2s @ 21 
I Hitachi 32-bit SHI 


Data transfer rat*: 

150 KB/sec. (Normal) 

300 KB/sec (Double speed) 
Maximum Capacity - 660 Megabytes 

Audio CD w/reactive display 
CD+G Compatible 
CD+EG Compatible 
CD Single Compatible 


Video CD 


VDPI processor handles: 
sprites 
polygons 


VDF? processor handles: 
backgrounds 

5 simultaneous planes (with two 
rotation planes) 

32,000 colors from 24-bit palette 


y VHm 


352x224 

640x224 


Main RAM: 2 Megabytes 
Video RAM: 154 Megabyte 
Sound RAM: 540 Kilobytes 
CD ROM buffer 512 


16-bit Yamaha 68ECOOO @ 113 MHz 

32 voices 

FM synthesis 

2 CPU Interfaces 

44.1 KHz sampling frequency 

16 channel digital mixer 

SCSP 128 step DSP @ 22.6MHz 


Supplied byVDP I: 

Texture mapping 
Gouraud Shading 
5I2K cache for textures 
200,000 texture-mapped polys/sec 
500,000 flat shaded pdys/sec 

Supplied by VDP I: 

Dual 256K frame buffers for 
rotation and scaling 
Virtually unlimited number of 
sprites on a line 
Virtually unlimited number of 
sprite images 

Virtually unlimited number of 
CLUTs 

gge&ss igeggrs 

Supplied by VDP I: 

Rotation 
Scaling up/down 
Wfarplng 

Vertical and horizontal line scroll 

Supplied by VDP 2: 

Background engine 

Up to five simultaneous scrolling 

Up to two simultaneous rotating 
playfields 

True 24-bit backgrounds 
704x480 maximum resolution 



Saturn’s specs are 
unimpressive. But will it be able 
to handle VF37 Don’t count on it 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 















ng special 




The Saturn hardware has undergone streamlining revisions, but this photo shows the old system schematic, which is 
useful both in showing the original design of the system, and in showing the various components in more detail, as the 
functionality of many chips have since been combined into larger integrated chips: 

1) 2 Hitachi 25 MIP SH2s running at 28 MHz Yamaha FH1 DSP 


2) 16 Mbit DRAM for SH2s 

3) 12 Mbit DRAM for the VRAM and frame buffer 

4) 512 K sound DRAM for the 68EC00 

5) 32 K SRAM for battery back-up 

6 ) 512 K Initial Program Loading ROM — for the Saturn’s 
power-up sequence 

7) VDP1 32-bit video display processor, sprite processor 
and texture-mapping engine with dual 256 K frame 
buffers 

8 ) VDP2 32-bit video display processor with five 
simultaneous scrolling backgrounds and two 
simultaneous rotation fields 

9) Processor Controller 

10) Saturn Custom Sound Processor (SCSP). Contains 


Yamaha FH1 DSP 

11) 22.6 MHz MC68EC00 sound processor 

12) System control unit running at 14MHz 

13) 4-bit system manager and peripheral control 

14) Crystal oscillator 

15) Integrated circuit clock controller 

16) Digital-to-analog converter 

17) RGB encoder 

18) Cartridge slot 

19) Connector for joypad 

20) Connector for CD interface 

21) SHI processor for CD drive 

22) MPEG interface 

23) CD drive board interface 

24) 100-pin CD-drive board connector 


63 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


















fitf 


forimmediate 

1 

occupancy. 


The darkness of ancient Kgypt and evil alien 
forces, possessing horrifying pow ers, have taken 
possession of the ancient city of karnak. And 
these landlords are exacting extremely high rents. 
Like an arm and a leg...or worse. 

Airdropped into f irst person landscapes, you 
must sw im, craw I and otherw ise run like hell 
through 20 plus levels of gameplay. Real time, 
f ully 31) rendered environments allow you 
complete SoO" freedom of gameplay. With just a 
machete to begin with, search for 7 other 


weapons like hand grenades, a flame thrower, 
an M60 machine gun and a magical cobra staff . 
Dynamic lighting allows for stunning visual 
ef fects. C ross bridges, craw I through tunnels and 
sw im through underwater grottos. Your only 
salvation is the guiding Spirit of the Great 
Pharaoh Ramses. 1 Ics the only one in this god 
forsaken neighborhood who w ants to help you 
get a forw arding address. 

So welcome to the nightmare of Ramses’ 
tomb. And enjoy your stay. It may last forever. 










Nights 


Released: Out Now 


Arcade conversions abound. But what else is there? 

fter a disappointing initial software offering (only Daytona USA and 

A Virtua Fighter provided any reason to look twice at Saturn), the 
quality of software greatly improved throughout 1995. The 
culmination of these efforts was Virtua Fighter 2 and Sega Rally — 
two games that temporarily silenced most critics of the system. 

But then development progress stopped, and other than Fighting 
Vipers and Yuji Naka’s Nights, there’s precious little for Saturn fans to brag about in 
1996. Sonic Extreme was abandoned (replaced by a version of the Genesis game). 
Hearts of Darkness has been delayed, Daytona Remix won’t arrive until 1997, and 
even if Command & Conquer does appear in 1996, it won’t be NetLink compatible. 

Saturn’s problem is a lack of third-party support. Because 

PlayStation is easier to develop for, and has a larger installed base, most companies 
with limited resources will choose to develop for PlayStation first, and (if they have 
a smaller development budget) sometimes exclusively. Admittedly, this means that 
PlayStation owners are used as guinea pigs for games that may or may not appear 

on the Saturn, but at 
least they get the games 
first — and the originals 
are usually the best (a 
software developer’s “A” 
team won’t work on 
mere ports). 

Of course, Saturn 
does have one major 
weapon that PlayStation 
and N64 don't have — 
full exclusive rights to 
Sega’s awesome arcade 
output. This alone is 
responsible for Saturn’s 
success so far, but the 
supply of killer arcade 
games for conversion is 
slowing. It’s naive to 
think that Virtua Fighter 
3 on Saturn will in any 
Yuji Naka's Sonic Team hit it big with Nights, and, although it is W ay resemble its arcade 
outselling Mario week-on-week in Japan and has sold well in , . _ f 

America, it cannot carry Saturn all by itself P arent ’ and the reSt ° f 

____ Sega’s arcade line-up 

lacks the dynamite or 

innovation that made Sega Rally and Virtua Cop such surprise hits. 

Sony's policy of nixing any software submitted for approval that doesn’t 
showcase PlayStation’s 3D capabilities has handed Saturn the 2D market, free of 
charge. A growing library of impressive and exclusive 2D games, like LucasArts’s 
Here’s Adventures, Capcom’s Major Damage, or Working Design’s Lunar have all 
cemented Saturn’s standing as the niche platform of choice for 2D game fans. 

If Saturn didn’t exclusively have Sega’s arcade line-up, then it’s software library 
would be sorely lacking. But, it does have these games, it has all the genre bases 
(sports, adventure, platform, and so on) covered with strong titles, and it does 2D 
better than any other system. But, despite all of this, it can’t compete with 
Nintendo 64’s bells and whistles; 2D games aren’t as popular as 3D games, and the 
reservoir of arcade hits appears to be drying up. 

1997 will be exceedingly tough for Saturn from a software point of view. 


Virtua 
Fighter 2 


Publisher: Sega 
Dev: Sega AM2 
Released: Out Now 


AM2’s nearly flawless arcade translation 
offered the first proof that Saturn was as 
powerful as Sega insisted, and also led 
Sega’s holiday charge in 1995. A year later, 
the still impressive Virtua Fighter 2 has yet 
to be surpassed on Saturn 


Publisher: Sega 
Dev: “Sonic Team’’ 


From Yuji Naka’s Sonic Team, Nights (and 
its analog joystick) offers a 2D game in a 
3D world. Sure, it may not have the 
immediate appeal of 1991’s Sonic the 
Hedgehog, but it’s Sega’s main weapon in 
’96, and, to many, Saturn’s finest hour 


Sega Rally 


Publisher: Sega 
Dev: Sega AM3 
Released: Out Now 


After the disappointing Daytona USA, 
Sega Rally was a welcome relief. With 
awesome gameplay (compatible with 
Sega’s analog joystick) there is still little 
to compete with this example of Sega’s 
arcade racing brilliance 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.conn/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 









NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


ng special 



66 



Fighting Vipers Publisher: Sega 
Dev: Sega AM2 
Released: Out N< 


Publisher: Virgin 
Developer: Radical 
Released: Out Now 


Publisher: Sega 
Developer: Sega 
Released: Out Now 


Unfortunately for Fighting Vipers, although 
it is as good a port as Virtua Fighter 2, the 
game itself lacks VFZ s appeal (despite 
the option to fight as a giant bear). 
Consequently, ‘Vipers isn’t as powerful a 
weapon for Sega this holiday season 


Also available on PlayStation, this hockey 
sim is unique in that it is the only game that 
is better on Saturn than it is on PlayStation. 
PowerPlay features awesome motion 
capture, stunning opponent Al, and a 
surprisingly cool replay system 


Sony may have stolen the sports crown 
from Electronic Arts and Sega, but there 
are still some top sports games on Saturn. 
Hands down, WSB2 is the best baseball 
game we’ve played, especially since it now 
has all the U.S. ballparks 


Dark 

Savior 


Virtua Cop 


Publisher: Sega 
Developer: Climax 
Released: Jan '97 


Publisher: Sega 
Dev: Sega AM2 
Released: Out Now 


“The best light gun game ever” neatly 
describes this title. The use of polygons 
enables contextually appropriate actions 
when an enemy is hit, which creates a much 
more immersive experience than is found 
with less sophisticated titles in the genre 


This 3D action/RPG looks to be one of the 
genre’s most exciting 1997 releases — 
and it's only on Saturn. Climax has a 
stellar reputation in Japan (since the 
success of Landstalker ) and Dark Savior 
will only increase Climax’s stature 


Imagine a 16-bit game hastily converted to 
replace Sonic Extreme (rumor has it 
Extreme was canned when the developers 
saw what Nights could do and Extreme 
couldn’t) and you have this. Fun, but hardly 
a convincing answer to Super Mario 64 


Super Street Publisher: Capcom 
Fighter Alpha 2 Developer: Capcom 
Released: Out Now 


Panzer 

Dragoon Zwei 


Hearts of 
Darkness 


Publisher: Sega 
Developer: Sega 
Released: Out Now 


Publisher: Sega 
Dev: Amazing Studios 
Released: 1997 


It’s out on PlayStation, too, but thanks to 
Saturn’s superiority at 2D, SSFA2 is way 
more fun on Saturn (that may have to do 
with the Saturn’s more fighting game 
friendly pad design as well). It’s a head to 
head comparison that Saturn wins easily 


This beautiful rail shooter series 
demonstrates the power of the Saturn and 
showed, after the debacle of 32X, that Sega 
developers could still do a good non-arcade 
game if they put their minds to it. Panzer 
Dragoon is a highpoint in Saturn’s library 


Fantastic graphics and an intriguing plot, 
but endless delays make waiting for this 
Gallic-developed title (which is set to 
appear on Saturn first) something of an 
exercise in existential torture. Still it 
should be great if it ever actually ships 



n 

V 



Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 












Last chance for Sega? Or still early days for Saturn? 

y simultaneously trying to maintain gp** - "" "% 

B support for Genesis and 32X, Sega f~ I 

spread itself too thinly at the launch of MferfiBjBBSHgv .. 
Saturn. And although it has largely l 1 

managed to solve most of these early | 
problems, it has yet to offer an 1] 

extremely compelling reason, beyond the arcade j 

exclusives,to buy Saturn. Currently Sega’s 32-bit system HnW 11 I 

maintains a solid second place in the world’s next- Pt ' s ---— - * 

generation race, but in all probability this will soon 

become third as Nintendo 64 catches up and overtakes. \ -.—* 

It’s important to remember that Sega doesn’t necessarily need the home 
hardware business for its long term survival. It has been an independent game 
developer before, and it can be so again. Indeed, many believe that Sega could make 
more money publishing its games on all platforms than it can by throwing good money 
after bad backing Saturn. Already, Sega is publishing PC games, and doors have been left 
open for PlayStation development in the future. The bottom line: Even if the Saturn ship 
isn’t necessarily sinking just yet, Sega has all its lifeboats in place and ready to go. 

It is doubtful that the Saturn is going to rocket past the PlayStation or N64 without 
some kind of divine intervention. Certainly, NetLink fails to excite — especially given 
Sega’s history with peripherals — and despite Nights and Fighting Vipers, Saturn’s 
upcoming software doesn’t inspire much confidence either. It is NG’s belief that Sega 
internally acknowledges that Saturn is beaten in the U.S., and were it not for its 
continued success in Japan (and Sega’s considerable pride) it would quit immediately. 

Except, of course, that Sega may be able to eke out a profitable Saturn business in 
third place. By promoting its large library and introducing budget releases inbetween 
AM2 arcade conversions, Saturn could maintain a holding pattern for years to come. In 
conclusion, NG expects Saturn to remain a viable platform through 1997, but after that, 
it’s anyone’s guess. So unless you have to have Sega’s arcade line-up, or are a sucker for 
Nights (and we wouldn’t blame you if you are), Saturn has to be considered a secondary 
purchase this holiday season. 


Daytona USA Publisher: Sega 
Championship Dev: Sega AM2 

Released: Dec ‘96 


Don't call it Daytona Remix, but this new 
home version of Sega’s racer adds cars, 
tracks, and an enhanced graphics engine 
for its second appearance. The exciting 
track editing mode, however, was 
removed to ensure an on-time ship date 


Virtual On 


Publisher: Sega 
Dev: Sega AM3 
Released: Out Now 


It’s fighting, it’s robots, it isn’t going to 
appeal to everyone. Imagine CyberSled 
meets BattleZone with giant ’mechs and 
you have Virtual On. Without Assault- 
style controls, though, the home port 
may pale next to the arcade original 


Sega Saturn 


Demonstrable 
hardware power 
★★★ 


Virtua 
Fighter 3 


Publisher: Sega 
Dev: Sega AIVI2 
Released: Dec '97 


Current software 
library 
★★★ 


Future software 
prognosis 

Marketing muscle 
★★★ 


Overall future 
prognosis 

★★'/2 


It all comes down to this. If Sega can't 
find a way to shoe-horn the game, 
somehow, onto Saturn, the system is 
finished. If they can do it (if there was 
ever a time for 64X, this is it), things 
may look up for Sega in 1997 and beyond 


Final score 
★★★ 


67 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 





















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trademarks are the properties of their respective owners. For product or ordering information, contact your local retailer or call 800-33-MAXIS. Visit the Maxis Web site at http://www.maxis.com. 








ng special 




_ Format: Nintendo 64 _ 

_ Launched: June 23,1996 

U.S. Release Date: September 29,1996 

_ Origin: Japan _ 

U.S. sales: 600,000 _ 

Worldwide sales: 2 million _ 

_ U.S. titles: 4 approx _ 

Worldwide titles: 6 approx _ 

U.S. retail Price: $199 


Over a year late. Only a handful of games. Old fashioned 
cartridges. "Limited" supplies. The disastrous Virtual 
Boy fresh in gamers' minds. Nintendo still licking its 
wounds from a bloody 16-bit battle with Sega. And yet 
Nintendo 64 is still many people's favorite to win the 
next generation race. Why? 


71 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


















NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


ng special 




A year behind its rivals, N64 has now launched. 
So will whoever laughs last laugh longest? 

Or, as Sega proved with Genesis, will it be the 
early bird that catches the videogame worm? 


incendo singlehandedly 
■ resurrected the home 
I M Kg videogame industry 
A I I with the 8-bit NES 
■ I Pm after the disastrous 

crash of 1983-84. It then went on to 
rule the roost until the early 1990s, 
when the late introduction of Super 
NES gave Sega a chance to sneak in 
through the back door with Genesis. 
Sure, Super NES rallied wonderfully — 
but the once invincible Nintendo had 
been badly shaken. 

Now, Nintendo 64 may be the most 
powerful of the next-generation 
consoles, but it is very late entering the 
race, and Sony has clearly grabbed the 
role of market leader. Will history 
repeat itself, with Sony playing the 
upstart position that Sega played at the 
dawn of the 16-bit era? Or can 
Nintendo demonstrate that it still has 
the clout it had back in 1985 and rise 
once more to a dominating position? 
Nintendo’s Howard Lincoln claims that 
it can, and that it comes down to just 
three words — “Super Mario 64.” 

Nintendo was founded in 

1889 as a manufacturer of traditional 
Hanafuda playing cards. But when 21 - 
year old Hiroshi Yamauchi inherited the 
presidency he soon decided that 
Nintendo’s future was in entertainment. 

To that end, he hired several young 
engineers who created the company’s 
first successful entertainment product, a 
grabbing hand. An electronic “love 
tester” sparked Yamauchi’s interest in 
electronic toys, which paid off when Mr. 
Yokoi designed a light-gun. Nintendo 
quickly used the guns as the basic 
technology for electronic shooting 
galleries. The galleries were a massive 
success until 1973, when the oil crisis 
caused a massive recession in Japan and 
the galleries began to fail, leaving the 
company overextended. Mr.Yamauchi 
needed to take a serious gamble. 


The gamble was 
licensing Magnavox’s 
home Pong console. It 
paid off, and Nintendo = 

was in the videogame 
business. After 

introducing the hand-held ^ 

“Game and Watch" series 
in Japan and a series of 
arcade games, including 
Donkey Kong, the company 
took the bold step of yr 

introducing a home 
console, the Nintendo 
Entertainment System 
(NES), into a U.S. market , 
crippled by the failure of 
Atari. Retailers were 
aghast, remembering the i s. ^ 

mountains of unsold Atari 
2600 product. But 
Nintendo persisted, and 
its 8-bit NES was a | Ni „,.„ aoCol 

massive success, thanks in right) mastei 
no small part to Nintendo of 

Nintendo’s rigid quality - 

control processes. 

After world-dominating success with 
NES, Nintendo allowed Sega’s Genesis to 
steal half the 16-bit market from its 
Super NES. Clearly something needed to 
be done. So, in August 1993 Nintendo 
announced a collaboration with Silicon 
Graphics to create a new system, 
codenamed “Project Reality.” It would 
sell for “under $250” (half what Sony 
estimated PlayStation would cost) and be 
the most powerful home videogame 
system ever devised. The news was 
greeted with skepticism by many in the 
industry, and as the years progressed, 

Nintendo delivered nothing but delays, 
name changes, and strategic partnerships 
with a variety of both better and lesser 
known names, such as Williams and 
Paradigm Simulations. Controversial 
decisions, like sticking with carts, led to 
many questioning the system’s potential. 

Any questions of potential, however, 


Nintendo Corporate Limited chairman Hiroshi Yamauchi (above, 
right) masterminded much of Nintendo 64's U.S. launch strategy. 
Nintendo of America’s president Howard Lincoln (above, left) 


evaporated when the unit was released in 
Japan on June 23rd of this year. Despite 
only having three titles available (one of 
which was a chess game) 300,000 units 
were sold immediately at launch. Super 
Mor/o 64 was heralded by many to be the 
greatest videogame of all time. The U.S. 
release, between the 26th and 29th of 
September (everyone broke the 
embargo) was similar, with another 
300,000 units selling in four days. 

But why the panicky last 
minute price drop from $249 to $ 199? 
Why did sales in Japan slow so quickly 
after its initial launch? And — again — 
where are all the games that were 
promised? And how come all the third 
party games look so poor? The challenge 
for Nintendo is to answer these 
questions and maintain the momentum 
of launch through the holiday season 
and beyond. 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 





NINTENDO 64 


,'S? 


ng special 


Will a 64MB writable disk drive add-on enable new 
gaming paradigms, or just gather dust on store shelves? 


Will Nintendo’s $150 64DD disk drive add¬ 
on make Nintendo 64 the console it should 
have been from the outset? 


o all its detractors who 
point to the lack of a CD- 
ROM drive, Nintendo 
simply responds with its 
64DD (aka “Bulky Drive”). 
Due for launch in Japan this time next 
year, this expensive ($ 100 to $ 150) 
Nintendo 64 add-on will add to the base 
unit a 64MB disk drive, of which 20MB 
will be writable (it can save as well as 
load). Considering that most game saves 
require less than I MB of memory, it is 
tempting to speculate as to what other 
applications Nintendo has up its sleeve 


with this new, writeable medium. 

Online gaming is NG’s guess (see 
page 19), but game updates on disk (new 
levels and characters), downloading 
software from stores, and complex 
adventure games also sound cool to us. 

No one’s ever successfully 

managed to sell a peripheral that costs 
almost as much as the console itself. But 
then, if it costs just $ 100 (or even $ 150) 
with Zelda packed in, hell — why not? 
After all, a lot of us paid $270 just to play 
Super Mario 64... 


Nintendo, never known for impressive ads, 
appears to have, with Nintendo 64, ditched the 
"Play it Loud" line.Thank God 


Total marketing budget, 
Oct-Dec: $54 million 


■■■■■■I intendo has never been 
■ a marketing 
I k 1 powerhouse. Its 

^ success in the 8-bit 

days was largely due to 
being the only player 
with games of any quality whatsoever 
(its heavy-handed distribution practices 
didn’t hurt either). Practically the only 
innovative marketing move that 
Nintendo ever made was the creation of 
an in-house magazine, Nintendo Power, 
which shamelessly plugs the latest 
Nintendo games to over 500,000 
monthly readers. 

But not even Nintendo Power could 
stave off Sega’s 16-bit marketing blast, 
which managed to paint the Super NES 
as a childrens toy. 

After a lengthy period of inaction, 
Nintendo played catch-up with its 
derivative “Play it Loud” campaign, a 
shoddy attempt to mimic the Sega-style 
shock campaigns. But it was tough to 
reconcile a television ad that has a giant 


fat man exploding with a game 
like Yoshi’s Island, and 
Nintendo’s sales triumphs in 
the late 16-bit era surely had 
less to do with stunning ads 
than Sega’s dropping of the ball 
with Sega CD and 32X, and the 
graphical leap of DKC. 

For N64 , though, 

Nintendo seems to have given 

up its pure, two-steps-behind- 

Sega emulation (which is 

probably smart, or else we’d be 

seeing Nintendo Theater of the / 

Eye ads around now, or 

Princess Toadstool with no hair 

and rings around her head). 

Instead, it has adopted a moderately 
catchy, punny slogan — “Change the 
System” — with which to fight. 

TV ads also abandon schlocky shock- 
tactics for some light-hearted humor 
and lots of footage of Mor/o. This back- 
to-basics kind of campaign reflects what 
we feel is the real Nintendo, and is a 
breath of fresh air compared to Sega’s 
creative (we’re not going to say 


Nintendo’s 

current 

instore 

promotional 

items are 

downright 

refreshing, 

compared to 

mediocre 

past efforts 


misleading) “three 32-bit processors!” 
campaign. But lets face it, Nintendo’s 
best marketing tool has never been its 
ads, or its tie-ins, or even its massive 
mailing list (the company sent out over 
500,000 promotional videos for 
Nintendo 64). It’s Mario games that 
Nintendo has always used to sell 
hardware systems, and Nintendo 64 
is no exception. 


73 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 








NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


TECH SPECS 


ng special 



74 


T E C H N 0 L 1 


Nintendo's 64-bit project becomes reality 

intendo went to Silicon Graphics, the company 
with arguably the most powerful graphics 
hardware on the planet, to create the bulk of 
Nintendo 64’s technology. Basically, N64 has all 
the operative features of a Silicon Graphics 
Reality Engine, with the caveat that it only works on a TV — 
hence a maximum resolution of 640 x 480. 

The final Nintendo 64 hardware is flat-out stunning. Not 
only is it fast, but it has far more graphic manipulation and 
processing features built into it than PlayStation and Saturn 
put together. A quick comparison of Wove Race to, say, Jet 
Moto for PlayStation makes this readily apparent. 

All has not been smooth sailing, however, as the 
massive delays of seemingly all N64 games demonstrates. 
Unlike the PlayStation and post-VF Remix Saturn, the Nintendo 
64 toolkits were practically non-existent until Paradigm and 
Nintendo began to make them available within the last few 
months. If the Saturn is difficult to program, then up until 
very recently Nintendo 64 was impossible. A precious few 
developers stuck it out and built their own tools, notably 
Iguana (developers of Turok: Dinosaur Hunter for Acclaim). 
However, Turok is the exception that proves the rule — 
precious few other third-party products currently show any 
promise at all. Despite what Shigeru Miyamoto may have 
achieved with Super Mario 64, few developers outside of 
Nintendo (and Paradigm, presumably) will be likely to get the 
kind of results seen in Mario or Wave Race in the near term. 

Another hitch dogging third-party game development is 
that while the system offers unprecedented power (with the 
exception of high-end arcade boards), most developers have 
become used to the luxury of data storage on CDs. 

Certainly, whether or not third parties can create games that 
take full advantage of N64’s power using only 8MB or so of 
memory is an open question. Also unanswered is whether or 
not Nintendo will ease the financial burden of having to 
produce games on cartridges that cost over $30 to 
manufacture (CDs cost less than $3). 

Still, this is not strictly 
Nintendo’s problem. 

Developers asked for 
power, and Nintendo has 
delivered, in spades. The 
system beats the pie-in- 
the-sky specs announced 
two years ago — and not 
even a PC could do Wave 
Race justice, even at ten 
times the price. 

Cartridges aside, it’s 
hard at this stage to fault 
Nintendo 64’s technology. 

But can anyone outside 
Nintendo use it? 



The power of an SGI graphic 
workstation in a “below $250” 
console? That’s what Nintendo 
promised and, largely, delivered 



A look inside a little SGI 


Digital/Analog Control Pad (in seven colors) 

64DD Magnetic Media Drive 

RFU Adapter 

S-Video Adapter 

Memory Cart 


64-bit MIPS R4300 RISC CPU @ 93.75 MHz 
64-bit registers, data path and buffer 
125 MIPS for CPU 

64-Bit RISC “Reality Immersion” Graphics co-processor @ 62.5 MHz 
Rendering Processor: 

Textures, Anti-aliasing, Rasterizing, Z-buffering 
Audio and Video Processor: 

100+ MFLOPS for Graphics Co-Processor 

256 x 224 to 640 x 480,21-Bit color output 
32-Bit RGBA pixel color frame buffer 

MEMORY CONFIGURATION 

4 MB RAM. Internal data bus is 128-bits wide 

"Rambus" DRAM subsystem enabling transfers of up to 562.5 MB/second 
8-bit “Rambus" bus @ 500 MHz maximum 


Up to 16-bit stereo @ 44.1 Khz (CD quality) 

ADPCM Compression algorithm 
Up to 100 PCM channels 

GEOMETRY ENGINE 

Capable of calculating approximately 160,000 rectangular polygons/second with 
hardware features enabled. Hardware support for: 

Texture mapping 
Detail texturing 

Tri-linear mip map interpolation 

Perspective correction 

Depth buffering 

Shading 

Z-buffering 

Skewing 

Scaling 

Rotation 

Anti-aliasing 

Gouraud Shading 

Alpha-channeling (256 levels max) 

"Level of Detail" (LOD) Management 

SPRITE SPECIAL EFFECTS 

Scaling 

Rotation 

Anti-aliasing 

Alpha Channeling (up to 256 levels) 

64DD SPECIFICATIONS 

Magnetic Media with read and write capability 
3 3/4" feed similar to a Zip drive 

Bundled with 2MB expansion RAM pack that fits the N64 console 
To be manufactured by ALPS 

Transfer Rate and Seek Time: 

I MB/sec data transfer, ISO ms seek time 

Media: 

64MB disk storage, 44MB read-only, 20MB writable 

Compression of N64 enables supposed real-time decompression of data on 64DD 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 













ng special 





In stark contrast to the Saturn, Nintendo 64’s chip board is a hallmark of elegance. Even compared to PlayStation, the 
Nintendo 64 looks simple. In fact, it has so few chips, a handheld version would be extremely easy to manufacture. 


Reality Coprocessor. This SGI designed chip controls graphics, sound, etc. Running at 62.5 MHz (100+ 
MFLOPS), it has onboard rendering processors to handle textures, anti-aliasing, z-buffering and graphic effects. 
If you look at the chip with en electron microscope, you can see the names of the design team members 
64-bit MIPS R4300 RISC CPU: Runs at 93.75 MHz (125 MIPS) with a true 64-bit data path and registers. This 
is the heart of Nintendo 64, and controls the object and game logic 

RAM Chips: 2MB RAM. Rambus DRAM subsystem allows theoretical transfers up to 563 MB/second 
Peripheral Interface chip: filters and integrates messages from the peripherals into the heart of the board 
Processing Resistors: These resistors are used for video, audio, and graphics processing. They assist in 
balancing and mixing video signals (particularly for the digital to analog signals) 

RAM bus port: slot reserved for future RAM expansion packs. Currently occupied by a null-terminator 
Power Switch 
Reset Switch 

Cartridge Slot (contains a pass through to the bottom of the board for future expansion options, such as 64DD) 
Ports for up to four game controllers 


75 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 

























VR GOLF TIP 


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For Golf Tips # 1-10 and free demo, visit our web site at http://www.vrsports.com. 


Look for VR Golf '97 for the Sega Saturn and PC CD-ROM too! 


Purchase VR Golf '97 and get a copy of VR Soccer '96 for the Sony PlayStation free,* pay only $3.95 for shipping and handling. 

Hurry, offer ends 4/30/97. Offer available for Sony PlayStation only. Full mail-in offer details inside VR Golf '97. 

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©1996 Gremlin Interactive, Ltd. All rights reserved VR Sports. VR Golf, VR Soccer and The Difference Is Real are trademarks of Interplay Productions. All rights reserved. Interplay is the sole publisher and distributor. Licensed 
from and developed by Gremlin Interactive, Ltd. PlayStation and the PlayStation logo are trademarks of Sorry Computer Entertainment Inc. Sega and Sega Saturn are trademarks of Sega Enterprises, Ltd. All rights reseived. 


Special VR Golf camera angles allow 
you to follow the ball in flight 
without those annoying little maps. 


It's just a game like the Green 
Jacket is just a sports coat. Say 
hello to the next generation of 
golf. In fact. Video Games magazine says 
it's "The best golf game ever... a must." 
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makes VR Golf ‘97 not only look better, 
but play better. So don't get caught in a 
trap, act now and get VR Soccer '96 for 
free. VR Golf '97. Now this is a game you 
can get into. 

















Gamers cannot live on Mario alone 

oftware is the big question mark for Nintendo 64. Yes, Super Mario 64 
is the greatest game of all time, but — as has been pointed out many 
times before — it was created by over 40 engineers who had two 
years of development time and complete access to the hardware 
developers (allegedly system specs were changed to meet their specific 
needs). It is not likely that anyone else will be able to equal Nintendo 
efforts like Mario or Wave Race for quite some time. 

And beyond such first party product, the forthcoming 1997 lineup is looking 
worryingly weak. Nintendo maintains that quality not quantity is key, and that by 
limiting releases it can guarantee quality. Fine, but only if the resulting software actually 
measure up, and only once essential genres (fighting game, racing game, RPG, sports, etc) 
are catered for. Unfortunately, from what we’ve seen it is unlikely that many N64 titles 
will push new boundaries any time soon. And, there’s still no sign of an emerging sports 
category, leaving sports fans to run to the open arms of Sega and Sony. 

To be sure, titles like Shadows of the Empire , and Killer Instinct look 
acceptable, but they don’t equal Mario in terms of leaping beyond the status quo. Its 
understandable — many third parties didn’t get development systems until very recently 
— but what do gamers care? We want games. 

Also, with only a few titles released each year, Nintendo 64 will never have the 
breadth of software that PlayStation has, regardless of any superior depth. Unless most 
of the system’s titles are hits, gamers looking for the system with the best library will 
shy away from Nintendo 64. And despite Nintendo’s exclusive-only strategy, many of 
the first titles will be ports, like Doom 64 and Mortal Kombat. 

Additionally, with Nintendo sticking to the model that’s worked so well for it in the 
past (complete control over the production and approval process — third parties 
beware) it’s yet to be demonstrated in 1996 that anyone other than Nintendo can turn 
a profit releasing cartridges, given the cost-of-goods risk and massive upfront investment 
required. If Williams and Acclaim don’t make some serious cash this holiday season, 
don’t expect many additional third parties to take the plunge. 

Nintendo has professed (and we believe it) that it doesn’t really care if no third 
parties develop for the system — all the more market for itself. Fine. But it is worth 
noting that no system has ever succeeded with only first-party software. (Odyssey2 or 
Lynx anyone?). Bottom Line: Despite the obvious strength of Mario 64, software (a lack 
of it, to be precise) could be Nintendo 64's Achilles' heel. 


Shigeru Miyamoto (left), is largely 
responsible for Nintendo's 
success. He has been intimately 
involved in the development of 
nearly every Nintendo title of note. 
Genyo Takeda (above), was 
responsible for the design of N64's 
innovative analog joypad 


; Super Mario 64 Publisher: Nintendo 
: Developer: Nintendo 

• Released: Out Now 


What can we say that hasn’t been said 
already? Mario 64 is absolutely stunning 
and everything we’ve come to expect when 
Shigeru Miyamoto is given 40 engineers and 
two years to complete a game. A fantastic 
achievement, and N64's main attraction 

Pilot Wings 64 Publisher: Nintendo 
Dev: Paradigm 
Released: Out Now 


The slow pace and esoteric goals of Pilot 
Wings 64 make its appeal narrower than 
that of Mario or Wave Race, but it 
provides an excellent technology demo 
of just how well N64 can push polygons. 
And who doesn’t want to be a birdman? 

Wave Race 64 Publisher: Nintendo 
Developer: Nintendo 
Released: Out Now 


If anything threatens Mario’s crown, it’s 
this. The physics of racing on waves, the 
stunning textures, and the dead-on level 
design make this one of the most unique 
racers of all time. And it beats today’s 
crop of arcade jet ski games with ease 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 












NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


ng special 



78 



Mortal Kombat 
Trilogy 


Wayne Gretsky Publisher: Williams 
3D Hockey Dev: Atari Games 

Released: Dec ’96 


Wonder 
Project J2 


Publisher: Williams 
Developer: Williams 
Released: Nov ‘96 


Publisher: Enix 
Developer: Enix 
Released: TBA 


OK, it’s not our favorite title, but for MK 
fans, this three-in-one trilogy (despite the 
loss of some animation frames) should 
deliver the ultimate MK experience, with 
tons of characters, fatalities, backgrounds 
and, of course, buckets of blood 


Nintendo has never been a sports 
powerhouse, but this arcade style hockey 
game (created by the designer of Asteroids) 
is extremely fun to play. Plus, its got the NHL 
license and fighting (too bad they had to take 
out the finishing moves) 


Imagine an artificial intelligence game in 
which players interact with a little 2D 
Japanese school-girl. That’s this. Weird, 
yes. Likely to hugely popular in Japan, 
definitely. Likely to be released in the U.S. 
erm... But it does show the depth of N64 


Killer Instinct 
Gold 


Publisher: Nintendo 
Developer: Rare 
Released: Dec ’96 


Publisher: Nintendo 
Developer: Nintendo 
Released: TBA 


tveloper: EA 
(leased: 1997 




Perhaps the best thing about K/ is how it 
makes us appreciate Mortal Kombat — but 
it still sucks. Fans of outrageous combos, 
gravity defying babes, and warping 2D 
levels (that let kids on Usenet claim that 
it’s 3D), however, will no doubt love this 


The expected 64DD pack-in, Zelda is a big 
enough name that Nintendo may actually sell 
a respectable number of the $150 add-ons. 
Not much is known about the game, but 
expect Link to follow Mario into 3D, and 
maximize 64DD’s writeable technology 


Scheduled to debut in Japan (tied to a J- 
League license) before its U.S. release, 
expect FIFA to do for Nintendo 64 the 
same thing that it did for 3DO — showcase 
the system’s 3D capabilities. Hopefully it 
will play a good game of soccer, too 


Shadows of 
the Empire 


Publisher: Nintendi 
Dev: LucasArts 
Released: Dec ‘96 


Publisher: Kemco 
Dev: Boss Games 
Released: 1997 


Publisher: Nintendo 
Dev: Nintendo 
Released: 1997 


The Star Wars license guarantees a hit for 
a game which tries to combine vehicle 
piloting, Doom-style shooting, and Rebel 
Assault- style flying. It looks good and 
plays OK — but console owners still don’t 
have the Star Wars game we deserve 


Kemco’s reward for releasing Virtual Boy 
titles was a Nintendo 64 license. It looks like 
its using it well, recruiting Boss Games to 
create an attempted Sega Rally killer that 
looks set to be the first realistic racing 
game on the system 


It was one of the best games on Super 
NES and it’s coming to N64. SMK64 will be 
another title to make good use of the four 
player options inherent in N64, and — like 
Wave Race 64 — stress Nintendo’s 
dominance of the home arcade genre 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 











ng special 





First Square, and now Hudson? What is it 
with Japanese developers and 3D 
fighting games? Still, the people who 
brought us Bomberman look set to 
provide Nintendo 64’s answer to Tobal 
No.l, Virtua Fighter 2, et al 


Turok: 

Dinosaur 

Hunter 


Publisher: Acclaim 
Developer: Iguana 
Released: Jan ’97 


Dual Heroes 


Publisher: Hudson 
Developer: Hudson 
Released: 1997 


Turok, a Doom -style shooter based on a 
comic-book license features a machine- 
gun toting Native American, dinosaurs 
with laser weapons, and some great 
level design. Although delayed until 
January, Turok will help N64 considerably 



Doom 64 will (hopefully) be the last and 
best version of the game that took the 
PC world by storm. N64's anti-aliasing 
will take care of those ugly bit-map 
problems, and four player deathmatches 
will rock — we can’t wait 


Pub: Williams 
Dev: Wllllams/ld 
Released: 1997 



It's a question of faith — are the games coming or not? 

intendo has managed to silence its critics with Nintendo 64’s 

N hardware, but this will be for nothing if there aren’t enough games 
that exploit it. No one actually wants an electric drill, they want 
holes in the wall — and no one wants a game system, they want to 
play games. Nintendo 64 sales slowed to nothing in Japan after launch 
precisely because of its lack of software, and unsurprisingly the 
release of Wave Race sparked a massive spike in sales. 

The following ISSUeS still aren’t clear: One, will third party game 
publishers be able to make money making games on cartridges that cost $30 to 
manufacture? Two, will any of the games released in the foreseeable future be up to 
the standard of Mario and Wave Race ? Three, can Nintendo 64 survive without 
significant third party development? And four, will gamers en masse accept a system 
with such a slim library of albeit high-quality titles? 

These questions should be answered in the marketplace this holiday season and 
throughout 1997. But Nintendo’s also planning another gamble — with 64DD, can it 
be the first console manufacturer to introduce an expensive accessory? The gaming 
possibilities of an internet-linked network of N64’s equipped with writable storage 
devices is awe inspiring, and could bring to Nintendo success undreamed of during 
the 16-bit era. If 64DD fails, however, it will only serve to dilute the marketplace and 
diversify Nintendo’s development resources. This ain’t good. Just ask anyone at Sega. 
Nintendo’s commitment to the home game industry is unquestionable — it’s its 
only business. Unlike Sega or Sony, Mr 

/ ' Yamauchi and Company have no option but to 

! stick this out for the long haul. Consequently, 
/ I Nintendo is here to stay, and that means that 

I I * n conc l us ‘ on > ^ you can put up with only a 

l handful of games and the unlikelihood of any 
1 f - —■ ^ 1 budget titles being released any time soon, 

i Of [ J then Nintendo 64 should be your number 


Nintendo 64 


Demonstrable 
hardware power 


Current software 
library 
★ ★ 


Future software 
prognosis 
★ ★★★ 


Marketing muscle 
★★★ 


Overall future 
prognosis 
★ ★★★ 


79 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 























WE FINALLY MADE A WORKSTATION 



USt 


like 


everyone 


e I s e’s. 


See what’s possible 


Introducing 02™. A workstation just as practical, 
reliable, and affordable as everyone else’s. Except that 
it’s better. Only 02 delivers industry-leading CPU 
and graphics performance as well as breakthrough 
video and imaging capabilities. All of this is possible 
because 02 is the only workstation in its class 
that is based on an innovative Unified 
Memory Architecture. In addition 02 is , 
available with a MIPS® R5000™ CPU, or, 
for your most demanding needs, the more 
powerful MIPS® RIOOOCT. If you think all this makes 
02 stand out, wait until you see how well it fits in. 
02 is designed to easily plug into your network as 
well as leverage the interactive capabilities of the web. 


It comes standard with a full set of web-authoring 
tools and a personal web 
server, a combination 
which allows you to 
communicate your ideas 
to anyone, anywhere, on 
any computer. If 
you’re looking for 
the performance 
of a workstation 
combined with the power 
of the web, as you can 
see, it isn’t hard to find. For more information see 
our Web site or call 800.636.8184 Dept. LS0055. 



O2 Desktop Workstation 
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MIPS R5000 180MHz processor 
32-bit double-buffered graphics 
Hardware texture mapping 
Image processing engine 
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Web-integrated user environment 
64MB ECC SDRAM 
2GB SCSI system disk 
17" monitor, 1280x1040 
lOOBaseTX/IOBaseT Ethernet 
CD-ROM 


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it SiliconGraphics 

W Computer Systems 






© 1996 Silicon Graphics. Inc. All rights reserved. Silicon Graphics and the Silicon Graphics logo are registered trademarks. (Xand See what's possible ; 
are registered trademarks, and RI0000 and R5000 are trademarks, of MIPS Technologies, Inc. 


: trademarks, of Silicon Graphics. Inc. MIPS and the MIPS RISC Certified Power logo 







WtLlnk^: 
JA SATURN 


fi!e7/NETLINK.HTM 


1. Make Net Link City on Planet Oasis' your home base, 


2. Crash your car in Sega Rally Championship 


/ SWICI 


i*. E-mail your brother for money 


5. Retreat into spectator sports sites 

























Play video games 


CHANNEL SURF, 

AND BROWSE THE INTERNET. 

All on your TV. 



Net Link for Sega Saturn™ 
is HERE. 

Who says you need a PC to browse the Internet? 
Net Link lets you do it all on your TV. 

Simply. Easily. And all for less than $400. 

Net Link is a high-speed 28.8 Kbps modem which 
attaches to the powerful Sega Saturn 
gaming system. It delivers full E-mail 
capabilities. A Web browser customized for 
TV use. A 3D home base linked to over 225 
of the hottest Web sites. And a month’s free 
Internet access from Concentric Network. 

Others will ask you where you want to go. 

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(WWW.SEGA.COM ) 


Play. Watch. Browse. 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 



Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 





























































ng special 


Game Music 


When it comes to interactive entertainment, the music industry is an antiquated beast. 
However, attitudes are changing. And fast. Next Generation looks at how digital 
technology is uniting the interests of both musicians and game designers 




V 


ideogames and 
contemporary music 
have now officially met, 
shaken hands, and 
declared their respect 
for each other. This is 
good news for gamers as, post- Wipeout, 
developers have finally realized that the 
right music can be used to enrich the 
gaming experience. 

Three games currently providing 
evidence for this standpoint are: one, 
Wipeout 2097, with user-selectable in-game 
music from the likes of Underworld, the 
Chemical Brothers,The Prodigy, Fluke, and 
FSOL; two, PhotekVirgin’s Broken Sword, 
which features a specially written 
soundtrack by Barrington Pheloung, the top 
Autralian classical composer; and three, 
Warp’s £0, which will come with a shiny 
new score by Michael Nyman. Developers, 
then, are taking music seriously, and the 
music industry is starting to take games at 
least as seriously as films. 

It’s good news for music companies. 
Evidence for this is provided by 
Astralworks which expects to shift large 
quantities of the forthcoming Wipeout 2097 
compilation (which knocks Sony’s efforts 
with the original Wipeout into a cocked 
hat) later on this year, thanks to a built-in 
audience of serious gamers. And Suburban 
Base, the tiny London-based jungle label is 
preparing to release the fruits of a tie-up 




Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 









NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


Q 

ng special 



c 



Next Generation Online, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


WIPEOUT 3037 SHOULD BE GOOD. I CAl\l NEVER 
QUALIFY ir\J WIPEOUT. I STILL PLAY IT A LOT 
THIIMKIIMG "I'LL DO IT THIS TIME.’* BUT I 
NEVER QUITE i 

MAKE IT. (X a~ia SS8L \ I / .| 


Underworld (left) 
and Future 
Sound of London 
(right) both 
contribute well to 
the soundtrack 
for Psygnosis’s 
Wipeout 2097 


for this — according to the company’s 
Glen O’Connell,“Last time, the album was 
a bit disappointing. This time, we think it 
stands up in its own right” 

As far as O’Connell is concerned, much 
of the credit for this must go to Virgin, 
Psygnosis’s new musical partner. The 
original Wipeout album was put together by 
Sony Music and although Psygnosis’s stint as 
a tiny wing of the mighty Sony corporation 
has brought it untold riches, its 
collaboration with Sony Music was 
probably not one of them. O’Connell says, 
“I don’t think Sony knew what they had — 
they just took old tracks from their 
archives. It was an experience we’ve 
certainly learned from.” To be fair to Sony 
Music, the first Wipeout compilation was 
adversely affected by time pressures. But 
the Wipeout 2097 compilation album is an 
altogether more credible affair. As proof of 
this, it will even spawn an associated single 
release: Fluke’s rather excellent Atom Bomb. 

Psygnosis U.K. will also back up Wipeout 
209Ts launch with a club tour around 
some of the U.K.’s most happening venues. 
This will be a joint effort with Virgin Music 
and Red Bull, the energy drink 
manufacturer, in true 1990 co-promotion, 
brand association-style. Die-hard U.K. 
clubbers are well used to this sort of thing 
by now, and, as long as they get a good 
evening’s entertainment, they can handle 
being marketing guinea-pigs (look out for 
Red Bull product placement in the game, 


drum and bass/techno man Photek and two 
tracks from Future Sound of London which 
will be unavailable until their eagerly 
awaited album appears. Also, the Chemical 
Brothers’ Loops of Fury, nowadays only 
available on a pricey import and a 
previously unavailable mix of their track, 
Leave Home, courtesy of Darren Emerson 
and his cohorts and an instrumental mix of 
The Prodigy’s familiar smash-hit, Firestarter 
appear on the game. So depending on your 
mood, you can opt to play Wipeout 2097 
with musical backing ranging from the 
Chemical Brothers’ meaty beats and 
general bang, crash, and wallop to Photek’s 
slowish, metallic drum and bass, via Fluke’s 
more laid-back catchiness. Psygnosis’s Tim 
Wright (aka Cold Storage) has written two 
tracks for the game, and all the tracks can 
be set to play in random order. Few games 
can be tailored to suit your mood — it’s 
usually the other way round. 

As is now customary, Wipeout 2097 will 
be accompanied by a compilation album 
(on the Astralworks label, in the U.S.) due 
to hit the record stores a couple of weeks 
before the game. Psygnosis has high hopes 


with Sega that could propel it from 
underground to overground. And it’s good 
news for the games companies, which stand 
to achieve much-needed fashion credibility 
among a post-teenage audience through 
tie-ups with underground music culture, as 
well as using music to tack extra selling 
points onto their games. Good news all 
round, then? Time for a closer look. 


Wipeout 2097 is an excellent 

update to a great original. Attention to 
detail has been the focus, rather than 
thinking up a big new idea for the game. 
Yet it does have one aspect that sets it 
apart from all other games on the market 
— it has a built-in library of adrenaline- 
fuelled dance tracks, any of which can be 
selected to produce the most appropriate 
head-rush for a serious gaming session. 

It’s not as if these tracks are off-cuts 
that have been gathering dust in record 
company archives, either. There are two 
exclusive tracks from Fluke, one from 
Underworld (who seem to have become a 
chart act thanks to the film. Trainspotting ), 
an exclusive track from ultra-hip intelligent 


The first Wipeout album was adversely 
affected by time pressures. Wipeout 2097 is 
an altogether more credible affair — it will 
even spawn an associated single release 


86 











ng special 


) CD CD 


CD 


Zion Train: 


pooling sounds 


Zion Train may be laid-back anti-establishment 
dubsters, but their passion for technology singles them out 



NTLY THAT I HAVEN'T 
' GAMES OUT. WHAT'S 
FOR THE FUWBlWnON 


://www.next-generation.com/ 


forward and backward in time. It’s an amazing piece.” His argument is that the powers 
that be like the freedom technology offers, but only when it’s working for them. 

Zion Train hopes to circumvent the perenial problems with using samples with 
Soundpool. “The existing Soundpool was our Soundpool. for the Grow Together album.” 
explains Agent Cod,“but for our next LP we’ll create another Soundpool. We’d like to 
see other people starting their own Soundpool. What we are saying to artists is when, 
say, you’re pissing about on the guitar and you get something nice, send it to us and we’ll 
play it inside-out and upside-down. Only people with few ideas 
desperately hang onto what they've got” 

“The archaic legal structure of copyright and publishing stands in the 
wa y °f art anc * music. But now there can be a complete worldwide 
[?» yfl ! digital community.” Fair enough, but how do Zion Train propose to 

overthrow the majors with 
their technological savvy? 

They think that things like 
Soundpool will bring an 
artistic freedom that would 
discourage artists from 
signing to majors: “Publishers 
50 years ago owned 95% of 
what they published; now 
they own about 15%. People 
like Warner have been 
picking up thousands of little 
people in an attempt to make 
up the profit they had before. 
Nowadays, if you sign up to a 
large label you’re tied into 
doing albums, videos,Web 
sites, and promotions." 

But, say Zion Train, you 
can do it yourself without 
signing to a major, with a bit 
of DIY electronica. “We 
produced the CD-ROM for 
£25,000, which let us put it in 
the shops at £ 10. We’re setting up to do commerce on the Net, and we’ll be in the 
same position as, say, Sony. Except that if Sony set up shop on the Net with a 100,000 
back catalogue and we did the same with 20, we'd get more sales, because Sony's 
site would be so daunting. When set-top boxes appear, Internet 
radio stations will be viable and 

/ \ there'll be unlimited pirate radio. 

I \ \ As a by-product of the promo 

I \ / budget for our LP, we’ve 

I \ I \ performed the i 

I \ /\ / ! A groundwork to // i 


ub collective Zion Train are not, on the face of it, the sort of 
music group you’d expect to be technology wizards. They are 
notable for adopting a political stance, disseminating agititation 
propoganda concerning the destruction of the planet, the 
marketing-led excesses of the 1990s, and any curbing of the 
right to free speech. They are sworn enemies of the major 
labels of the record industry. Yet when it comes to technology, 


they’re bang up-to-date. Last year’s 
Homegrown Fantasy puts all the music CD- 
ROMs created with vast heaps of major label 
cash to shame. Zion Train’s WWW site, the 
Wobbly Web, has become the main forum for 
dissemination of their ideas. And with the 
Soundpool, their latest technological project, 
they believe they have hit on an idea which 
could seriously harm the bloated 
infrastructure of the record industry and 
usher in a new era of creative collaboration 
between musical artists. 

The concept behind the Soundpool is 
simple. Zion Train and anyone else signing up 
are free to use any of the “Ideas, samples, 
conversations, and collaborations" contained 
in the Soundpool, without recourse to 
lawyers, publishers, or other “musical 
businessmen." It’s a means of collaborating 
with all ZT’s musical peers which, because it 
makes heavy use of the Internet, doesn't 
require physical proximity. 


Zion Train’s Homegrown 
Fantasy CD-ROM is 
certainly worth checking 
out, as is its WWW page. 
But do they get games? 


I ne issue Of copyright when I ■ IkJ 

one artist samples another's work is perhaps I I — 

most inflammatory in the music industry. I 

Colin from Zion Train (who likes to be 

known as Agent Cod), is full of examples of * A ' 

copyright madness: "There’s a guy called John 

Oswald who invented what he called Plunderphonics. He released an LP called Dab 
with a pic of Michael Jackson on the cover. Each track was a restructuring of other 
people's material (Dab is, of course. Bad backwards). He pressed 1,000 up with his owi 
money, but still was forced to take them all back after legal action. 
WEA then hired him to do a celebration of their 40th anniversary 
in the music business and the Grateful Dead hired him to 
work with what might be their most famous song, Dark 
Star. They gave him 57 different live recordings of it, 

\ performed between 1967 and 1994, and he created a a 
2-hour piece using all of them — sometimes in 30- j \ 
f \ second bits, sometimes / \ 

J \ in I -second bursts. It / \ 

it \ j \ ended up as a / \ 

j \ continuous flow, j \ 
I \ \ I \ travelling j \ 


permanent TV 
station on 
the Net.” 

















NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


ng special 


Revellers at London’s Notting Hill Carnival 
were surprised to see a Sega float pumping 
out hardstep jungle dance music 


too). It sounds as though the club tour 
should provide good entertainment. 
According to O’Connell, “It will take place 
in underground clubs in eight U.K. cities. 
We’ll probably take one room and do a 
whole Wipeout 2097 experience, getting 
some of the bands on the album to DJ and 
even play live.” 

Following Sony s 

appropriation of club culture for the 
PlayStation, Sega has inked a tie-up with 
Suburban Base, an underground dance 
music label. An intriguing union, as 
Suburban Base is about as underground as 
you can get — it has been purveying 
energetic jungle to the cognoscenti for 
years without attracting much overt 
attention — and Sega is a massive global 
brand. Sega is, therefore, pursuing 
credibility with a young audience through 
association with an underground record 
company, just as Sony’s PlayStation 
marketing has started to concentrate on 
cracking the mainstream. This doesn’t 
necessarily mean Sega is still a jump behind 
Sony, however. 

The first fruits of the Sega/Suburban 
Base tie-up are so low-key they’re almost 
imperceptible: a white label 12-inch, 
circulated to DJs, branded with graphics 
from its Baku Baku Saturn game. The 
approach taken for this is similar to that 
taken by JVC with Tekken: Suburban Base 
has overseen an exercise involving getting 
artists to take noises from the soundtrack 
to Baku Baku Animal and remodel them 
into dance tracks. The EP has a selection 
of techno and 
drum and bass 
mixes performed 



by Suburban Base artists The Dream Team 
and Timebase. 

Revellers at London’s Notting Hill 
Carnival (including Next Generation) 
were surprised to 
find a Sega float, 
pumping out 
hardstep jungle — 
again, this was the 
work of Suburban 
Base. But the 
highest-profile result 
of this unlikely union 
will be a compilation 
album called Club 
Saturn, due for 
release later this year. 

This promises to resemble the Wipeout 
2097 compilation in reverse. Sega’s in- 
house musician, Richard Jacques, explains: 
“Gub Saturn will feature all the top Saturn 
games between now and Christmas. Like 
the Baku Baku EP, we’ll take sound effects 
from the games and get people to rewrite 
them into tracks.” Suburban Base’s Danny 
Donnelly elaborates: “The Club Saturn 
tracks will span a number of different 
styles. There’ll be jungle tracks from DJ 
Hype, Pascal,The Dream Team, Remarc, 
and Swift, house tracks from Dudarella, 
who have just signed to MCA, Marshall 
Jefferson and Acorn Arts, and trip-hop 
tracks from D’Cruze and the Balouga 
Boys, who are signed to Stress.” Whether 
this eclectic mix will hang together as a 
whole is anyone’s guess, but its very 
strangeness, plus the presence of the 
notoriously elusive and perverse house 
legend Marshall Jefferson, should guarantee 
attention, if only to enable an assessment 
of whether he has lost his touch or not. 



Sega’s Suburban Base float for London’s 
Notting Hill Carnival (left). Gremlin’s 
Hardwar (above) features Warp’s music 


Suburban Bases Donnelly says:“There’ll 
probably be a playable demo of some 
Saturn games in with the album — we 
want to link the music and the game 
aspects. Games are a big thing with the 
jungle scene and the whole dance scene — 
people are always coming back from raves 
and putting games on. And it’s a good 
promotion for us to be linked with a 
household name like Sega.” 

Gremlin has always had more 

interest in music than most games 
companies, as illustrated by the PWEI 


VVIVE GOT A PLAYSTAnON AND A PC FOR GAMES — 
I’VE BEEN A GAME FREAK SINCE I WAS YOUNG. 
WITH THE ZX SPECTRUM AND STUFF. I USED TO GO 
TO GAME SHOWS WHEN I WAS YOUNGER AND HAD 
AN AMIGA. WE USED TO LIKE STUFF BY THAT COMPANY 
CINEMAWARE. WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM? I GO UP ON THE 
UNDERWORLD NEWSGROUP QUITE A LOT • WE RE THINKING OF 
STARTING A NEW UNDERWORLD MAILER. I VE GOT A POWER 
MAC IN THE STUDIO. BUT I’M ABOUT TO GET A NEW BSOO 

BECAUSE I NEED THE PCI SLOTS. 


Or Une, nttp://www.next-generation.com/ 














ng special 



:/'/www.next-generation.com/ 


S iteractive music 

er 


Header's CD-ROM shows others looking to make audio 
and computer CDs how to do it right 


■ cheaper than ever to author CD-ROMs. Fair enough, 
conventional art (unless it is digitally created, as with the 
works ofWilliam Latham) tends to lose its authenticity in the 
B digitization process. But modern music is to a large extent 
completely digital. So why are music CD-ROMs typically so poor? 

One problem is that musical artists interested in creating CD-ROMs have 
generally been signed to major labels, which, in the absence of interesting ideas for 
musical use of the medium, have indiscriminately thrown vast amounts of money at 
the problem. Header's approach is the complete diametric opposite of this. 

Header is a bunch of guys based in Londons ultra-hip Soho whose previous 
lives involved the music business and multimedia companies such as Dorling 
Kindersley. Fed up with producing anodyne, conventional CD-ROMs for DK, they set 
off on a journey of discovery aimed at finding out just how the CD-ROM medium 
could expand the boundaries of music. The result is Header I , which the team hopes 
will be just the first of a long line. 


With sales falling, 
music CD-ROMs have 
had a tough time 
lately, but one of the 
best examples is 
Header 1 — a fun and 
brave way to explore 
electonic music in an 
accessible, interactive 
form on CD-ROM 


The idea behind 


Header was to persuade artists to record 
tracks specifically for digital manipulation on a CD-ROM, and then add to each track 
a different interface, enabling the user (with Header, one ceases to be a mere 
listener) to alter those tracks in real-time. Effectively, every time you sit in front of 
Header running on your PC or Mac, you are performing a unique remix of that track. 

Header I also plays in audio CD players, as a six-track mini-compilation, 
sporting tracks from MoWax group UNKLE, drum and bass pioneers 4-Hero, techno 
supremo Carl Craig, the late, lamented dub guru King Tubby, deep house king Derrick 
Carter (hiding behind the alias Red Nail Kidz), and cerebral technoey dance group As 
One. As a compilation, it’s rather unsatisfying — some of the tracks are very short, 
although quality is abundant. The Red Nail Kidz track is dauntingly long, but 
nevertheless touched by Carter’s genius. And the Carl Craig track is to say the least, 
challenging: Header is fond of relating how one of the U.K.’s high-profile national 
radio DJs called them up to tell them the CD-ROM wasn’t working, with Craig’s 
track playing perfectly in the background. 

But put Header I in your CD-ROM drive and it quickly becomes apparent that 
you’re witnessing some sort of birth. The intro screen consists of a whirling array of 
blue spheres with labels attached. Click on the one marked Carl Craig and you find 
yourself at a strange screen with a revolving portrait of Craig in one corner and five 
large dots floating around the middle. The track is split into four loops, all carefully 
synchronized. By wiggling them around with the mouse you can, for example, drop 
the bass out or chop the whole thing down to just the effects. 
f\ Discovering what you can do to the music using this interface is 
\ hypnotic, and even this atonal track can be coerced into 
/ \ making some form of sense. The elements of music are 

\ laid out for you, and it’s up to you to shape it your 


. , desktop. 4-Hero’s track is particularly impressive in 

L ( I this regard: it's a drum and bass blueprint that can be 
^ assembled into different configurations and flavors. 

Considering Header’s meagre resources. Header I 
is amazingly polished (although they did have trouble 
A making it compatible with both PCs and Macs). The 

idea could quite obviously be taken much further, 
with the introduction of things like floating vocal, effects and ambience loops which 
could be pulled into any of the tracks. No doubt such ideas will find their way into 
future Headers. And goodness knows what kinds of music will transpire when 

some of the more cerebral electronic musical artists get their r 

A heads around the idea of writing specifically for CD-ROM. But / 
at last, someone has found a way j 
of marrying CD-ROM and j 

way which enriches 
them both. And that can 

only benefit |A 

j \ gamers ji 

j \ everywhere. If 


music 



NEXT GENERATION December 1996 












NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


ng special 






soundtrack to its oddly addictive Loaded. 
And now, it has followed in the path of 
Psygnosis and announced a tie-up with 
underground techno label Warp and the 
Designers Republic for Hardwar, a futuristic 
arcade flight sim, shooter, and strategy game 
due for release later this year. 

This owes more to geography than 
anything else, as Gremlin’s Mark Mattocks 
explains: “The angle is that this is a 
collaboration between Sheffield, U.K. 
companies that are at the top of their 
industries. We’ve wanted to work with 
Warp for a long time, so we looked at two 
or three projects and picked Hardwar. 

We’re trying to keep the music integrated 
with the game. We went to Designers 
Republic not because it’s ‘the thing to do’ 
but because we’ve wanted to work with 
them for years.” 

Mattocks also mentions Warp artists 
such as Autechre, LFO, and Black Dog in 
connection with the game. As these are all 
no-compromise techno merchants, it could 
produce a very odd gaming experience 
indeed. All will come clear at holiday 
season, when Hardwar ships on PC. 

Gremlin’s interest in acquiring music for 
use in games has not all been smooth 
sailing, however. Although there’s no 
suggestion that its dealings with the small 
indie Warp are anything but harmonious, it 
has fallen foul of the arcane practices and 
attitudes of the mainstream record 
industry. Mattocks offers these dark words: 


clubbing is soon to permeate 
into Sega’s new Touring Car 
coin-op 


“There are a few attitudes iff] the music 
industry that need to change. It mustn’t see 
what we’re doing as a revenue stream, but 
as a new outlet Otherwise, this industry 
will turn round and say that we don’t need 
published music.” 

SCI had a similarly aggravating 
experience recently, when it tried to license 
some tracks from Goa Trancers’ 
Hallucinogen for its forthcoming redesign of 
SWIV for the PC. The company’s Sam 
Forest explains: “We weren’t able to get a 
license for the tracks in time for the game’s 
release. There was a hassle with getting the 
royalties cleared. It’s a bloody nightmare, 
really.” This reflects well, strangely enough, 


^lERTAlIM GAMES 
COMRLEMEIMT 
' MUSIC WELL, 

y kt PARTICULARLY 

* THE DIMES WITH 

\ A LOT OF 

MOTIOIM. SIIMCE 

■ WE STARTED 

■ MAKING MUSIC. 

WE'VE FDUNO 
THAT THE BEST 
WAV TO TEST IT IS TD 
HAMMER REALLY FAST 
□OWN THE MOTORWAY WITH 
IT DIM FULL WHACK. IF THE 
AOREIMALIIME 
IS THERE. THE COIMCEIMTRATIOIM 
IS THERE. IF THE MUSIC 
DOESN’T WORK. YOUR 
COIMCEIMTR ATIOIM FALTERS. 


on Virgin’s efforts with the Wipeout 2097 
album. Record companies like Virgin could 
profit immensely from adopting a sensibly 
open-minded attitude towards computer 
games. Indeed, they will have to if they are 
to avoid long-term damage from Internet- 
based sample banks, such as Zion Train’s 
Sound Pool, if they take off. 

Samplers, drum machines, 

sequencers, and synths have irrevocably 

changed the nature of 
music. Not just as a 
result of the peculiar 
sounds they can be 
used to make, but 
because they enable 
people to make rich 
music very cheaply. 
People have been 
known, in the 1990s, to 
create tracks in their bedrooms and watch 
them rise up the charts. And, as technology 
forges ahead, it becomes both cheaper and 
more doable. Only recently, however — 
particular since the likes of Carl Craig and 
Derrick May picked up Kraftwerk’s gauntlet 
and invented techno in the dismal 
surroundings of Detroit, and various 
pioneering American artists turned disco 
into house — have artists started to get to 
grips with the artistic possibilities offered by 
sophisticated, electronic music technology. 

These are still relatively early days in 
the world of electronic music, and pioneers 
using digital studios and new media are 
constantly discovering vast acres of new 
ground which is just begging to be broken. 
Whether, like Zion Train (see page 87), you 
choose to use electronica to break free 
from the shackles of the record industry or, 
like Header, you accidentally stumble across 
a new way of marrying cutting-edge music 
to interactivity, you will find that electronic 
machinery can open doors into unexplored 
areas of the music world. 

And considering the similarity between 
certain game genres and films, it is 
surprising that classical composers, who 
nowadays are almost universally well 
practiced in the art of scoring music for 
films, have rarely turned their hands to 
creating game music (apart from in Japan, 
of course, where RPG companies such as 
Enix and Square have employed world 
class composers and orchestras for 
producing the score for CD albums of 
game music). But is starting to happen, 
and surely shows proves beyond doubt 
that, at last, game developers are taking 
game music seriously. 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generatlon.com/ 














ng special 






I’ve written over three hours of music for 
Broken Sword which is unique in the genre 


In turn, some of the finest 

classical composers in the world are 
taking game music seriously. The 
Australian Barrington Pheloung has a back 
catalogue of 48 ballets and a reputation as 
one of the world’s most talented 
conductors. He is a darling of the 
classical scene. But he is best known for 
his knack of bringing music to the masses, 
such as for the U.K.’s “Inspector Morse” 
TV series and the film Truly, Madly, Deeply. 

Now Pheloung has completed the 
music for Broken Sword,Virgin’s animated 
point-and-click game adventure. Pheloung 
is quite a character, too. Now 37, he 
started off as a blues guitarist before 
forcing his way into London’s prestigious 
Royal College of Music at the age of 18. 
This means he’s not afraid to experiment. 
The Broken Sword music, he claims, is 
unique and ground-breaking: “Virgin would 
probably have been happy with a main 
theme and a few cues, but I thought that 
rather than creating an orchestral score 
like for a movie, I could make one which 
interacted with the game. So I’ve written 
over three hours of music, which is unique 
in the genre, and over 400 cues.” 

“These are designed to relate to other 
cues, but not necessarily in the same way 
each time. So if, say, you go down an 
alleyway for the second time, you might 
find the music is not related to what you 
heard the first time. I devised a new 
musical technique of cross-fading any X- 
cue with a D-cue, which gives about 40 
hours of different musical permutations. It 
was a dream score for me. With a big 
feature film score, all the parameters are 
set to the frame and the second before 
you start But with Broken Sword, I could 
write different music for the same 
occurrences so that if, say, a character goes 
down an alleyway, it could make you think 
very differently about what he’s thinking.” 

Pheloung is proud that he has broken 
new ground (“To me, it’s a brave new 
world, and I want to get in on the ground 
floor”) and is keen do more work along 
similar lines: “I want to take it to the 
extreme. I could easily have written five 
or six hours of music, because it’s such a 
beautiful game, but we were restricted to 
two CDs.” Pheloung scored the music for 
an orchestra and added the structural 
elements by breaking it up into sampled 
chunks. This, he says, was a mammoth 
task:“It’s like doing six feature films at 
once.The biggest feature film score I ’vej 
done was a two-hour one for 
Nostradamus. That had two and a half sides 

T.7... \T . 


Next Generation OnUne, http://wv 


of letter paper of cues. Broken Sword took 
up more than 400 sheets, which were 
pasted all round the walls of my studio.” 

He’s full of good words for the game: 
“What’s beautiful about it is that I can play 
it with my two little kids and the whole 
family around one monitor.” And his 
soundtrack has undoubtedly enhanced it, 
both in aesthetic terms and even in 
gameplay terms: “The music is full of clues. 
Sometimes, these are total red herrings, 
but sometimes they’re genuinely helpful.” 

As if more proof were 

needed of the newly developed serious 
approach among game developers toward 
music, Japanese developer Warp has 
commissioned Michael Nyman to produce 
the soundtrack for its forthcoming Saturn 
spectacular £0 (currently commanding 
huge amounts of attention in Japan). 

Warp head honcho Kenji Eno has this to 
say about the project: “Nyman wrote the 


comfortable with each other. There are 
factions that will shun such underground 
efforts as mere transitory affliations, while 
companies like Psygnosis will continue to 
be appreciated by a hardcore of dance 
music gameheads. 

Of course, the real revolution in game 
music will come when such quality 
musicians sit down and work out how to 
produce a flexible, interactive score. 

The danger with this current trend is 
that some musicians aren’t being 
challenged by the discipline of interactivity 
and are merely asked to hand over CD 
tracks. This is the lazy approach. 

Imagine if these artists could create a 
program that automatically arranged a 
muscial theme to accompany your game 
on the fly. This is the holy grail of game 
music right now, and let’s hope that 
these musicians realize it. Still, in the 
meantime, this could be the start of 
a beautiful friendship... '■X 


Barrington Pheloung (left] 
Warp’s EO employs a scor 


music for Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, 

The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover, but at the 
time he was not so famous in Japan. First, 

I wanted to use Ryuichi Sakamoto, who is 
very famous, but I couldn’t find what I 
was looking for in his music. Only 
Nyman’s would fit my game. We asked 
him to perform 14 pieces for £0 with a 
bigger orchestra (he usually performs 
with smaller groups) — some are just for 
piano and some are full orchestral ones. 

E0 has CG and polygon parts and Nyman’s 
music can be listened to in the CG parts, 
the introduction, and the ending. We will 
also release a music CD from the game.” 

These are clearly the days for the 
music and videogame industries to feel 


91 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 














MASTER Of THE HEADLOCK TOSS -W DELIVERER OE THE QUASI-IEGAL 
WITH HEAD-DISPLACEMENT FOLLOW THROUGH. / TORSO LOCKUP/GROIN-DEVASTATION COMBO 







^ uoneisAeid 


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Want to play doctor? Here’s your chance to diagnose, treat and, hopefully, discharge 
a healthy, living patient. CD ROM Today calls Emergency Room “a fast-paced, realistic i 
}i medical adventure.” Be prepared to face over 400 possible cases— f 
from hangnails to gunshot wounds. All brought to life by over 30 minutes I 
I (SKS of digital video, a Hollywood cast and 1,500 photo-realistic 3-D graphics. 1 
Lives are hanging in the balance, so rush to your local l 

software dealer. Code Blue. Or visit www.pc.ibm.com/multimedia. ==?= "E=® 

IBM is a registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation. ©1996 IBM Corp. All rights reserved. 















ng special 


Atari’s Historic 
Road to Nowhere 


Atari is dead. Now, Don Thomas, the former "Voice of Atari/ 7 recounts 
the grand history and painful demise of the U.S. company 
that first started the whole videogame ball bouncing... 


s of July 30, Atari ceased 
to exist. The company 
that introduced 
videogames to the world 
in 1972 failed 24 years 
later under the weight of 
a struggling Jaguar business that showed no 
sign of recovering. Don Thomas’s first¬ 
hand account of Atari’s roller-coaster 
history (he ran both the public relations 


and customer service divisions for many 
years) has been posted at various locations 
on the Internet. But Next Generation is 
glad to reprint his story here, as both a 
tribute to the company responsible for 
much of videogaming’s glorious past, and as 
a warning to the current kings of the hill 
that success can be lost as easily as it can 
be found. Next Generation salutes 
Atari, and respectfully acknowledges that 



we wouldn’t be here today had Atari’s 
pioneers not paved the way for so many 
others to follow. 

Over to you Don Thomas: 

It’s odd to imagine that an 

institution as big and as powerful as Atari 
once was has been shut down in recent 
days. The real amazement for me is that it 
was all accomplished without a measurable 


97 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 








HBHWBBWpBH 

mm&m 













It was only as recently as mid 1995 that 
Atari executives believed things were 
finally taking a better turn 


flinch, either from inside or outside the 
gaming industry. 

I can understand that gamers wanted 
to push Pong out the door early in the 
timeline. I can appreciate that the classics 
such as Missile Command and Asteroids do 
not push 32-bit and 64-bit systems to any 
technological limits. I know all these things 
intellectually, but the heart cannot face the 
truth that the world and the corporate 
machine known as Atari could not find an 
amicable way to coexist. 

On Tuesday, July 30, 1996, Atari took 
each and every share of its company 
(ATC), wrapped them all in a tight bundle 
and presented them to The JTS 
Corporation; a maker and distributor of 
hard drives. On Wednesday, the shares 
were traded under the symbol of JTS. 
Within a few weeks, the remaining staff of 
Atari that were not dismissed or had not 
resigned, moved to JTS’s headquarters in 
San Jose, California. The three people were 
assigned to different areas of the building, 
and all that really remains of the Atari 
namesake is a Santa Clara warehouse full 
of unsold Jaguar and Lynx products. 

It was only as recently as mid 1995 that 
Atari executives and staff believed things 


In an effort to salvage the pending 
WalMart situation, desperate attempts to 
run infomercials across the country were 
activated. The programs were 
professionally produced by experts in the 
infomercial industry and designed to enable 
Atari to run slightly different offers in 
different markets. In spite of the relatively 
low cost of running infomercials, the cost 



Don Thomas witnessed firsthand many 
of Atari’s tumultuous ups and downs. 
Now, he asks that Atari is not forgotten 



Alien furies close in. You wheel, circle, 
fire desperately. You wonder: How many 
levels of hell are there? With S3d™ 
on board, it's time to start counting. 

S3d technology makes 
games, Internet 3D, and 
Windows applications 
come alive. So get extreme. 

Get Descent™ II from Interplay™ and 



[But] the few parents that picked up the Jaguar 
were chastised by disappointed children 
on Christmas Day 


demand software and hardware with 
the S3d logo. Now at stores everywhere. 


were finally taking a better turn. WalMart 
had agreed to place Jaguar game systems in 
400 of its Superstores across the country. 
Largely based on this promise of new hope 
and the opportunities that open when 
such deals are made,Atari invested heavily 
in the product and mechanisms required 
to serve the WalMart chain. But the 
philosophical beliefs of the Atari decision 
makers that great products never need 
advertising or promotions put the WalMart 
deal straight into a tailspin. 

With money tied up in the product on 
shelves and in distribution costs, not much 
was left to saturate any marketplace with 
advertising. While parents rushed into 
stores to get their kids Saturns or 
PlayStations, the few that picked up the 
Jaguar were chastised by disappointed 
children on Christmas Day. 


to produce them and support them is very 
high. The results were disappointing. Of 
the few thousand people who actually 
placed orders, many of them returned 
their purchases after the holidays. The kids 
wanted what they saw on TV during the 
day. They wanted what their friends had. 
They wanted what the magazines were 
raving about 

In early l996w a iMart began 

returning all remaining inventory of Jaguar 
products. After reversing an “advertising 
allowance” Atari was obligated to accept 
the net benefit Atari realized was an 
overflowing warehouse of inventory in 
semi-crushed boxes with firmly affixed 
price and security tags. Unable to find a 
retailer willing to help distribute the 
numbers required to stay afloat Atari 



©1996 S3 Incorporated. All rights reserved. 
S3 is a registered trademark. S3d, the 
S3d logo, and “seek. find, demand." are 
trademarks of S3 Incorporated in the 
United States and other countries. 
Microsoft. Windows, and the Windows logo 
are registered trademarks of Microsoft 
Corporation. Descent and Interplay are 
trademarks of Interplay Productions. 


Design ed for 

SB 

Microsoft * 

Windows®95 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 









In the near future, mankind has conquered dimensional travel but 
the door we have opened swings both ways. The peaceful city you 
have grown up in has become a haven for dark creatures from 
another world— Demons! Now it’s up to you and your friends to 
harness the hidden power within you by entering the fantasy 
game known as Persona. 


You awaken with incredible abilities that you will need to defeat 
the scores of Demon invaders and cleanse the land of their forces. 
Converse with them before doing battle to determine your best 
course of action. Fight them or enlist their aid in your mission. 
Either way, you are set for the fantasy adventure of a lifetime! 


Special creatures M 

Based on the ultra-popular, mega-hit, Megami 
Tensei series: first time to hit US shores 


100+ hours of pulse pounding gameplay 
Over 300 different monsters to do battle with 

) i 

Morph any member of your party into a 
more powerful source known as “Persona” 

Fight your way to one of many endings ^ « 


Use your “Persona' 




http://www.atlus.com 


A fLUS EJ 

ESRB S E R I 1 ■ 5^ 



© 1996 Atlus Co., LTD. Persona. Revelations Series are trademarks of Atlus Co.. LTD. All Rights Reserved. PlayStation, the PlayStation logo, and the PS logo are trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. 

Call 1-800-771-3772 for Game Rating Information. 




virtually discontinued operations and 
traded any remaining cash to JTS in 
exchange for a graceful way to exit the 
industry’s back door. 

Now that JTS has “absorbed” Atari, it 
really doesn’t know what to do with the 
bulk of machines Atari hoped to sell. It’s 
difficult to liquidate them. Even at 
liquidation prices, consumers expect a 
minimal level of support that JTS cannot 
offer. The hundreds of calls they receive 
from consumers that track them down 
each week are answered to the best ability 
of one person. Inquiries with regard to 
licensing Atari classic favorites for other 
applications such as handheld games are 
handled by Mr. John Skruch who was with 
Atari for over 13 years. 



Yes, it looked like a toilet, and yes, the ill 
fated CD-ROM add-on for Jaguar was the 
final hardware nail in the Atari coffin 


In 1983 no one needed 
to buy a new system. 
This, combined with 
Warner’s obscene 
spending, amounted 
to a daily loss of 
over $2 million 

Unfortunately, programmers grossly 
underestimated the time required to 
develop 64-bit games. The jump from 8-bit 
and 16-bit was wider than anticipated. In 
addition.Atari was already spread thin 
monetarily but was required to finance 
almost every title that was in development. 

After the initial launch, it took Atari 
almost a year before an assortment of 
games began to hit store shelves. Even 
then, having missed the 1994 holidays, 
many of the planned titles were de- 
accelerated to minimize problems caused 
by rushing things too fast Consumers 
were not happy, and retailers were equally 
dismayed. The few software ads Atari was 
able to place in magazines often stated 
incorrect release dates because 
dates changed almost every day, 
although magazine lead times can 
be up to 120 days in advance. 

It was in 1983 that 

Warner Communications handed Jack 
Tramiel the reins of Atari. By this time, 
Atari was often categorized as a household 
name, but few households wanted to 
spend much money on new software, and 
the systems were lasting forever. No one 


S3d and Mindscape 
make MegaRace 2 

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You. The finish line. And seven nasty 
drivers determined to keep you from 
getting there. With S3d™ on board, 
it’s a race with reality. 

r 2 ; 

jg j g i u'x itk S3d technology brings 


games, Internet 3D, 




and Windows applications to life. 

So get extreme. Get software and 
hardware with the S3d logo. 

Now at stores everywhere. 


Since Atari couldn’t afford to launch Jaguar 
nationwide, it was introduced in New York 
and San Francisco first 


In spite of Nintendo’s claim that 
their newest game system is the first 64-bit 
game system on the market,Atari actually 
introduced the first 64-bit system just 
before Christmas in 1993. Since Atari 
couldn’t afford to launch the system 
nationwide, the system was introduced in 
the New York and San Francisco markets 
first. Beating Saturn and PlayStation to the 
next-generation punch,Atari initially 
enjoyed moderate success with the Jaguar 
system and managed to lure shallow 
promises from third-party companies to 
support it. 


needed to buy new ones. That, combined 
with Warner’s obscene spending, amounted 
to a daily loss of over $2 million. Atari was 
physically spread all over Silicon Valley with 
personnel and equipment in 80 separate 
buildings, not counting international offices 
and manufacturing facilities. 

Tramiel took only the home consumer 
branch of Atari and forced Warner to deal 
with the arcade division separately. Within 
a few years,Tramiel took the company 
public, introduced an innovative new line of 
affordable 16-bit computers, and released 
the 7800 videogame system. 


npcianprl fnr ©1996 S3 Incorporated. All rights reserved. 

ueaigncuKJi S3 js a regis(ered trademark S3d , he S3d 

' logo, and “seek. find, demand." are trade- 

* marks of S3 Incorporated in the United 

* I I States and other countries. Microsoft. 
SSJiJ Windows, and the Windows logo are regis- 

* tered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. 

Microsoft® Mindscape is a registered trademark and 

~its logo and MegaRace are trademarks of 

Windows 95 Mindscape. Inc. 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 













C R E A T E . C 


Network and modem action 


Ultimate control 


Total customization. 


Advanced battlefield strategy. 


Wicked SVGA graphics. 


M.A.X. has it all 


Over 50 land, sea and air units 


BY GAMERS. FOR GAMERS. 


Interplay Productions 1681 5 Von Karman Avenue, Irvine, CA 92606 Interplay Website: www.interplay.com 

©1996 Interplay Productions. All rights reserved. M.A.X. and Interplay are trademarks of Interplay Productions. All rights res 















S3dandEidos 
Interactive make 
Confirmed Kill 


To accomplish these miracles for Atari, 

Tramiel implemented his “business is war” 
policies. Of the 80 buildings in Sunnyvale, 

Santa Clara, and Milpitas, almost every one 
was amputated from Atari’s body of 
liabilities. The people were fired; the 
work, the heritage, and the history were 
liquidated. Those who survived were 
unsympathetically required to fill in the 
gaps. While most tried, few actually found 
a way to successfully do what a dozen 
people had done before them. 

Atop the mountain,Tramiel pressed 
with an iron thumb. All Fed/Ex mailings 
were required to be pre-approved by one 
of a handful of people. “Unsigned” 
purchase orders went unpaid regardless of 
the urgencies that inspired their creation. 

Employees found themselves spending 
valuable time trying to find ways around 
the system to accomplish their jobs. Many 
lost their jobs for bending the rules or 
failing to find a way to make things work. 

But as horrible as it all sounds, it 
actually was the only way to protect Atari 
as a company and give it a chance to 
survive as it did. Tramiel’s introduction of 

Employees spent valuable time trying to find 
ways around the system to accomplish their 
jobs. Many lost their jobs for bending the rules 

name recognition, in pursuit of quicker 
profits and a new market in Europe and 
around the world. 

On a technical level, Atari 16- 

bit computers were ahead of their time. 
For less than $1,000, consumers could 
enjoy “multimedia” before the phrase was 
ever really widely used. The icon-based 
working environment preceded Windows’ 
popularity although the essential attributes 
of the two environments were very similar. 
Built-in MIDI became an instant hit in the 
high-end music industry. Tasks were 
activated and manipulated with a mouse, 
and the system accepted industry standard 
add-on peripherals such as printers, 
modems, and diskettes. 

With all the genius that went into the 
technology of the machines, very little 
equivalent genius went into promoting and 
marketing them. Tramiel was the founder 
of Commodore Business Machines. When 
he introduced the PET computer in 1977, 
Tramiel discovered he didn’t have to call up 
a single publication. Instead, they all 
flocked to his door demanding an 
opportunity to see the product. News 


the 16-bit computer was initially hearty in 
the United States, but it went extremely 
well in Europe. Europeans were not 
accustomed to “affordable” technology, 
and, although the Atari computers were 
not IBM compatible, it didn’t matter 
because people could afford them. 
Tramiel’s private laugh was that the 
computers were sold at prices much 
higher in Europe than Americans were 
willing to pay for them. As a result, most 
of the machines were being shipped to 



Sam Tramiel, son of Jack Tramiel (who 
founded Commodore and bought Atari in 
1983) was in control at the very end 



Nolan Bushnell founded Atari in 1972. 
The name is the English translation of 
the Japanese word for “check” in Go 


European destinations to capture the 
higher margin. 

This enraged Atari loyalists in the 
United States. While waiting months for 
stores to get deliveries, international 
magazines touted ample supplies. Those in 
the know within the U.S. became dismayed. 
The remainder never knew Atari was 
slowly abandoning the value of Atari’s 



You soar over WWII's most intense 


battlefields, pulling 3 Gs and dogfighting 


over 200,000 square miles. With 


S3d™ on board, the battle scenes are 


real. S3d technology brings games, 
Internet 3D, and Windows applications 
to life. So get extreme. Get software 
and hardware with the S3d logo. 

Now available exclusively _ 


through Total Entertainment 


Network SM (http://www.ten.net). 


©1996 S3 Incorporated. All rights reserved. 
S3 is a registered trademark. S3d. the S3d 
logo. and“seek.find.demand."are trademarks 
of S3 Incorporated in the United States and 
other countries. Microsoft. Windows, and the 
Windows logo are registered trademarks of 
Microsoft Corporation. Eidos Interactive is a 
registered trademark and Confirmed Kill is a 
trademark of Eidos Interactive. Total Entertain¬ 
ment Network. TEN and the TEN logo are 
trademarks of T E Network. Inc. 


Design ed for 

m 


Microsoft* 


Windows®95 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 















NEXT GENERATION December 1996 



Now that JTS has “absorbed” Atari, it really 
doesn’t know what to do with the bulk of Jaguars 
and games that Atari hoped to sell 


magazines. Science Journals. Business 
newsletters. Newspapers. They all came 
with microphone, camera, and pen in hand. 
Any time a switch was added, a new 4K 
application was announced, or a new 
retailer was signed, the press smelled a 
story and wanted to cover it 

Today, a new videogame announcement 
may generate a request from any of the 
dozens of gaming magazines for a press 
release, but a lot of costly work has to be 
done to assure fair or better coverage. 
Editorial people are swamped with 
technical news. Samples are mailed 
regularly to their attention. Faxes fly in 
through the phone lines, and e-mail jams 
up their hard drives. It takes a lot to grab 
the press’s attention. 

While Atari retained hopes to be 
successful with the Jaguar, Atari’s marketing 
people were fighting established standards 
in the industry with severe handicaps. 

Since cartridges (the Jaguar is primarily a 
cartridge-based system) were so 
expensive, editorial people were required 
to return them before new ones would be 
sent. Editors often assign reviews to 
freelancers, so retrieving cartridges was 
not always easy. Additionally, reviewers 
often love their work because they get to 
keep the products they write about 

Regardless, the few magazines willing to 
cover Atari products were often turned 
away because of a lack of programmable 
cartridges. In-store signs and posters were 
sometimes created, but many retail chains 
charge premiums to manufacturers that 
wanted to display them. Some direct mail 
campaigns were implemented, but Atari 
often could not afford to keep the things 
being advertised on schedule. Therefore, 
the ads were published and distributed, but 
the product was not available. 

Clearly,Tramiel’s experience with the 
world beating a path to the door of a 
company making a better mousetrap no 
longer applied. The world had revolved a 
few times beneath him and he never 
noticed. The tactics used to successfully 
sell Commodore computers were simply 
antiquated notions from the past 

Meanwhile, Sony launched PlayStation 
with over $500 million in marketing funds. 
Today, PlayStation is considered the most 
successful next-generation gaming machine 
throughout the world. Sony bought the 


market Tramiel’s Atari never learned how, 
and could never afford, to do this. 

In the 1990s , the rest of the 

world discovered that IBM-compatible 
computers were becoming more powerful 
and more affordable. The world always did 
want computers at home just like at the 
office, and companies like Dell and 
Gateway exemplified the industry’s trend 
toward home-based office computers. As 
a result companies like Commodore, Atari, 
and NEXT couldn’t compete any longer. 

While the dedicated user base of each 
of these systems felt abandoned by these 


But for some pathetic reason Atari’s 
final days came and went with no tribute, 
no fanfare, and no dignified farewells. Why? 
Where did all the talent go? Where are all 
the archives? Where are the vaults? 

Where are the unpublished games and 
where are the originals of those that were? 
Why hasn’t a company stepped forward to 
adopt the remaining attributes Atari has to 
offer? Where are the creditors? 

What’s happened to all the properties 
and sites? Where are the databases, 
warranty cards, promotional items, notes 
on meetings, unanswered mail? Who owns 
P.O. Box 61657? Who works in the old 
Atari offices? Where do consumers have 
their systems fixed? Who is publishing 
new games? Who sells Atari products? 
Why are people talking about Atari online? 

I’m an ex-Atari employee and proud to 



1. Atari’s 16-bit handheld, the Lynx; 2. The Atari 
32-bit Falcon; 5. Atari’s TT — an ST spin-off; 6. / 
game system that for many of us was the start 


7800; 3. The STBook (a portable ST); 4. The 
knd — of course — the original VCS, the 
of it all (clockwise from top left) 


companies having to leave the computer 
market, the inevitable prevailed. 
Commodore jumped ship, NEXT changed 
business goals completely, and Atari 
invested what they had left in the Jaguar 
game system. Even today, Apple is kicking 
and screaming. As good as Apple was at 
creating a huge niche for itself, it focused 
too heavily on education. When kids grow 
up and get jobs, they want business 
machines. Unfortunately for Atari, IBM 
was always the business standard. 

When one examines 

Atari’s history, an appreciation grows for 
how many businesses and people were a 
part of the game over the years. Atari’s 
founder, Mr. Nolan Bushnell, started 
Chuck E. Cheese Pizza. Apple Computer 
was born in a garage by ex-Atari 
employees. Activision was founded by Ace 
Atari programmers. The list goes on. 


have been. I’m still an Atari devotee and 
proud to be. To me, these are questions 
that all deserve answers, but who in 1996 
and the future will ask them? 

The best people to ask are those who 
have exposure to the public. If you believe 
Atari left us without saying good-bye, 
contact Dateline at dateline@nbc.com. If 
you really believe, write to newspapers and 
other news programs. A letter in your 
own words would be great! I’d spend 
money for a thorough retrospect on Atari. 
Wouldn’t you? 

At least, wouldn’t it be nice to 
say a proper “Good-bye”? 


The end of an era 

Atari’s story is one that certainly should 
not be forgotten by anyone who has ever 
enjoyed a videogame. A special forum for 
discussion has been set up on NG OnLine 
at http://www.next-generation.com. 




Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 










trademarks ot Diamond Multimedia Systems. Inc. 



S3d and 
Diamond 
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make your system 

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Fast forward to the future of 3D 
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All the power 3D has to offer for 
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hit our web site for the 
real stuff: seek,s3,com 

Designed for 


S3d is compatible with 
Microsoft Windows 95, Windows 3.1, 

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The Best Multi-Player Action On The PlayStation! 

For Up To 4 Players Via PlayStation Multi Tap 


VICTORY IS THE ONLY 
THING KEEPING YOU ALIVE 


"PitbaN combines the best of 
multi-player sports gaming with 
hard-core arcade action!" 

-PSExtreme 


"Pitball combines the best 
elements of fighting and sports 
games, with impressive jesults> 


"Pitball is a cult 
classic in the making! 

-PlayStation Magazine 


: AH Rights Reserved Developed by Warner Interactrve International. Michael Buffer is used under license 
f Mic'-ae 1 EuHer Licensed by Sony Computer Entertainment America for use with the PlayStation game console 
pute* Entertainment Inc The ratings icon is a registered trademark o! the Interactive Digital Software Associate 
LE WITH PLAYSTATION GAME CONSOLES WITH THE NTSC U C DESIGNATION 


Inc 'Let's Get f 
I the PlayStatibr 


Accolade 


PlavStati; 


ics are &sdem;rks Sony t 
THIS SOFTWARE IS COM?; 


FOR PITBALL HINTS AND TIPS CALL ACCOLADE DIRECT: 





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Keep your eyes open as the crowd throws out 
SPECIAL POWER-UPS to their favorite competitors 
or DEADLY TRAPS to the visiting teams! 


12 alien races square off in the greatest contact 
sport ever played. Face the life-and-death 
EXCITEMENT of tournament play or experience 
the DEPTH of full season mode! 


court and uni 

Pla v "fa. „p 

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INCREDIBLE 3D GRAPHICS showcase the power of 
the Sony PlayStation! 

Use athletic finesse to SCORE GOALS or use the 
BALL AS A WEAPON to take out your opponents. 

12 DISTINCT ALIEN RACES compete in unique 
arenas throughout the universe each with varied 
gravity, weather conditions and power ups. 

The best multiplayer action on the PlayStation! Hot 
action using the PlayStation Multitap. 


FULL SEASON LEAGUE PLAY with statistics. 

Earn money through COMPETITION, SPONSORSHIP 
or BRIBES to buy free agents, power ups and new 
equipment! 

Discover the HIDDEN CHARACTERS that stand 
between you and Pitball glory. 

Voice over by legendary ring announcer Michael 
LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE: Buffer. 


v nr 


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r\L.L.ULT\UL 
To order direct call: 1.800.245.7744 

VISIT THE PITBALL WEBSITE AT http://WWW.ACCOLADE.COM 


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trademarks of Rocket Science Games, Inc. Windows is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation. Macintosh is 


trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. 




Mac OS £E£ 








AbsolutepoWER. 



j Hottest Titles. At last you can experience the absolute 
power of 3Dfx Interactive’s premiere 3D graphics accelerator, 
j Voodoo Graphics, on your PC or at the coolest arcades with 
these hot new game titles. These games are optimized to take 
advantage of Voodoo Graphics blazing speed and life-like 
graphics, with killer special effects, the other guys can’t handle. 


Coolest 3D. Voodoo Graphics enables photorealistic graphics 
AND real-time interactivity, so your games look amazing without the 
consequences of diminished performance. Products that incorporate 
Voodoo Graphics are available this fall from Atari Games, Diamond 
Multimedia. Falcon Northwest, Hewlett-Packard, Interactive Light, 
NEC, and Orchid Technologies. 


Absolute power 

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Only titles optimized for the Voodoo Graphics 3D accelerator chipset 
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packages, game titles, and arcade cabinets and attract modes for the 
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Voodoo Graphics”* on a PC supports MS-DOS? Windows® 95, and is the ultimate Microsoft® Direct3D™ game accelerator. Bar 




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These 3Dfx Interactive Partners 

make hot games happen 




DIAMOND 











The art of videogames has evolved considerably since the days of Pitfall, and a select few game artists 
now proudly rank among the world’s best CG (Computer Graphics) artists. Next Generation showcases the 
best of the game industry’s output from around the world. Enjoy... 



Up your arts 



Erik Holden’s droid has limbs, pistons, and 
joints that mirror the movement of a human 
body, making the motion-captured creature a 
delight to watch (above right) 

Loaded was famous for its strong, brilliant 
images. Mamma, caught in a rare violence- 
free moment, took ten days to model and 
contains 100,000 polygons (above) 

The Saturn adventure Dark Savior (right) 
includes cut-scenes by Masayuki Hasegawa 
who was responsible for Clockwork Knight 



Chisel-jawed heroes in Dark Savior rendered on SGI in Softimage 
by Masayuki Hasegawa 


Next Generation OnLine. http: 


v.next generatic 


111 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 








Deep aquamarine lighting gives the prerendered scene 
from Realms of the Haunting (top and above) an eerie 
and atmospheric luminosity. The above scene uses 12 
lights — two spots, two omni, and eight cones — as 
well as a fog effect, all given a green tint 


The deadly machines of Mr. Tank (left). Offering unique 
design with a bright mix of color, these roving vehicles 
are a far cry from the single sprite tanks seen in 
Combat, a long time ago in a game far, far away 


ie green room is a 3D map from the ROTH 
constructed by Keith Donald. It was then 
brought into 3D Studio for rendering. The 
cters were modeled in 3D Studio by Berni 


re developed by Rebellion 
for a PC CD-ROM release 


>ment of virtual Idol Kyoko Date from 
mains the responsibility of Yoshitaka 
Watch out for those teenage years... 


Nakaju Kimura rendered his images for 
Kowloon's Cate in Softimage 







113 


viewing 


Sony Music Corporation has undertaken an ambitious endeavor with 
Kowloon’s Gate, which features 100% pre-rendered graphics 


Music company Holipro has 
turned young Japanese models 
into “Idols” before, but Kyoko 
Date is different — she’s a 
Virtual Idol. Ten staff worked 
on Kyoko’s face, and motion- 
capture formed the basis of 
animation. A Kyoko music CD 
is due, with a real person 
providing the vocals 


Next Generation OnLine, http://www.next generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 









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Fantasy 7 images 
rendered on an 


Images for Final Fantasy 7 were 
designed conceptually by Akira 
Toriyama before being passed on to a 
team of artists. FFT s unique blend of 
fantasy elements and retro-tech 
hardware presents an interesting design 
challenge for Square's artists 


Online, http: 


1 


li.) .. 

IK 

_ 












The Bitmap Brothers did strong character work for Virgin’s realtime strategy wargame Z. Pixar used walls of Sun workstations to generate 
familiar toys on the computer screen, then bumped them to the movie screen (we’ll leave you to figure out which images belong to which) 


.com/ 



1 V v" 



\\ 

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WJ 


Jf 1 














I came 


I conquered 


Julius Caesar 


Absolute victory. Total control. 


With all the buttons you could ever need, the Microsoft' 
Sidewinder™game pad is going to give your white knuckled 
hands the ride of their life on all of your Windows' 95 
games. Hard to remember multi-button moves are a stroll 
through the park as you can map them to a single button 
on the game pad. Suddenly someone is wondering what just 
hit him. The Sidewinder game pad is perfect for a little 
ugly head-to-head action since you can connect up to 4 


game pad 


game pads for fully functional, multi-player play. All of 


which are great reasons to buy more than just one. So 
step out of the way, because the battle is about to begin. 


Microsoft 


Where do you want to go today? - www.microsoft.com/sidewinder/ 


©1996 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Microsoft. Uhere do you uant to go today? and Windows are registered trademarks and Sidewinder is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation. 




INTUITIVE CROWD REACTIONS 


















































KOI RECRUITING 

For The LightStormer Corps 



This is your chance to proudly wear the LightStormer uniform. We'll send you to 
the far corners of the solar system with enough firepower to enforce our hard-won 
peace. You'll be mastering awesome weapons like the Phase Rifle, Anti-Matter 
Blaster, Lock-on Cannon and Plasma Lance as well as receiving psionic neural 
implants - the classified technology reserved solely for the LightStormer Corps. 
With this arsenal, you'll be able to pulverize United Earth's enemies not only 
with your physical weapons, but with your mind. 





Distributed by 


JN$0)<1MAC 


universal interactive studios 


your lc 

the PlayStation logo 
1996 Umvei 


Digital Software Associr 


trademarks of Sony Computer Enter 
Interactive Studios. Inc All rights res 











Alert the stars. ... 

lake up the moon. 

Sumon Satul 


Tl 1 

II 1 

M B- H 

'i Mm 

) 

Ml 





3D B LAST 


New Sonic 3D Blast for Sega 
Saturn is a three-dimensional trip 
through 14 levels of spinning, 
slipping, jumping, and stomping. 

There's fog. There's rain. 
There's snow. There's Robotnik. 
And if things get hectic, there 
are new moves like The Blast Attack 
to put nasties in their place. 

So power up, head for Saturn, 
and prepare for a Sonic adventure 
that is not of this earth. 


SATURN 



Street Fighter EX Arcade Daytona CCE Saturn Dual Heroes Nintendo 64 Gretsky 3D Arcade 
Ecstatica 2 PC CD-ROM Tenka PlayStation Cloak PC CD-ROM Independence Day Multi 



as gaming truly progressed into the 
next generation? Could be. This month, 
two venerable gaming series finally get 
a much needed 3D facelift: everyone 
give a warm hello to Pitfall 3D and 
Street Fighter EX. Also, take a look at 
some games pushing in new directions: Mr. 
Tank, Cloak, and Psychic Force 


124 Esoteria 3 PC CD-ROM 


Newcomer Mobeus Designs brings the 
player into a massive 3D realm 


130 Street Fighter EX ARCADE 


Is it finally Street Fighter 3? Well, no, but 
at least it's Street Fighter in 3D 


135 Cloak PC CD-ROM 


A new graphic adventure from Sierra that 
pushes forward with innovative features 


138 Armored Fist 2 pc cd-rom 


Yet another Voxel Space 2 project from the 
company with the patent, Novalogic 


141 Spider playstation 


It's 3D but it's really 2D — can a plucky 
arachnid make this one work? 


149 Pitfall 3D PLAYSTATION 


Harry Jr. makes the 32-bit leap of faith — 
can he survive in a 3D world? 


157 Shivers 2 pc cd-rom 


Hapless teens and haunted villages highlight 
another upcoming Sierra title 


163 Queen — the Eye pc 


As in Queen, the band — save the world 
while listening to '70's rock anthems 


167 M r. Tan k pc cd-rom 


Too loopy to be sim, can this fun effort 
from Rebellion find a PC audience? 


171 Psychic Force ps-x 


The latest wrinkle in 3D fighting games 
flies onto the PlayStation 


173 Tenka PLAYSTATION 



174 Ridge Racer PLAYSTATION 


That's Grand Prix — the premier 
PlayStation racing game gets a facelift 


179 Daytona CCE SATURN 


And this is Championship Circuit Edition 
— the Saturn counterpart gets the same 


183 Ecstatica 2 PC CD-ROM 


More round characters — and surprising 
violence — from Andrew Spencer 


191 Duckman PLAYSTATION 


USA TV's brutally cynical 'toon makes the 
leap to PlayStation graphic adventuredom 


197 Conquest Earth PC 


Gaseous aliens from Jupiter invade Earth in 
this real-time wargame from Eidos 


201 J2 NINTENDO 64 


Enix, of all companies, takes a crack at 
artificial life — but is that was it really is? 


204 Toshinden 3 PLAYSTATION 


Guess what? Takara learns to count to "3" 
before Capcom does — hmm... 


210 Dark Reign PC CD-ROM 


Activision hopes to put a dent into the C&C 
genre with strange units and map editor 


212 Broken Helix playstation 


Konami's 3D shooter fires off bullets and 
one-liners, and it's got a guy named Bruce 


214 Independence Day MULTI 


You've seen the movie, now play the game, 
also courtesy of Fox — Interactive, that is 


218 Oddworld PC, PLAYSTATION 


It's been two years in the making, but is it 
a breakthrough in gameplay, or just weird? 


223 Gretsky 3D arcade 


Atari may be dead, but the arcade division 
is still kicking — and slashing 


227 Dual Heroes NINTENDO 64 


Nintendo 64 finally gets what it should 
have had from the start — a 3D brawler 



One of the first of the PlayStation's next 
wave continues to shape up 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


123 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 

























































NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


ng alphas 


Esoteria 



124 





Enemy soldiers are programmed to 
lead the player into an ambush (above) 


Raider and MDK currently make up 
the genre that seems to push 
technology further. Add to that lineup 
Esoteria 3 from Mobeus Design, a 
Chicago area start-up formed in 1995. 

The title planet, Esoteria 3, has 
recently been divided by civil war. As a 
self-aware cyborg named Raven, 
whose metallic appearance gives him a 
striking resemblance to a boardless 
Silver Surfer, the player's goals are to 
infiltrate an enemy city and overthrow 
a regime bent on manufacturing an 
army of cybernetic soldiers. 

Once into the game, the 

innovative camera mechanics become 
immediately apparent. On the surface, it 
appears to be a standard over-the- 
shoulder view. But the floating mouse- 
controlled camera enables the player to 
look in a wide range of directions, all 
from the character's point of view. "You 
control Raven, and whatever Raven 
sees, you see," says Chris Lai, Senior 
V.P. and Game Designer at Mobeus. In 
actuality, the camera fluctuates 
between a chase-person view and an 
over-the-shoulder view, which enables 


Mobeus Design's first game 
promises to be more than a run-of- 
the-mill 3D shooter 


Esoteria 3 
drops the 
player into a 
giant world 
six scale 
miles across 


Like Doom, large interiors add a greater sense of depth to the world 


Huge buildings loom in the 
distance, but you can 
approach them, enter, and 
explore the rooms 


Format: PC-CD ROM 

Publisher: TBA _ 

Developer: Mobeus 
_ Designs Inc. 

Release Date: Spring ’97 

Origin: U.S. 


he chicken or the egg 
argument could be 
used to describe the 
relationship between 
technology and 
popular new genres 
of games. While new technology 
enables entertainment software to 
evolve, true 3D shooters like Tomb 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 



















ng alphas 



“These aren’t 
monsters, 
they’re 
military 
personnel 
who are 
trained to 
kill you” 


the player to move one way and look 
and shoot in another. 

"Instead of manipulating the 
camera like in Mario 64, this camera 
is directly linked to Raven, so you're 
never looking from some arbitrary 
third-person angle," Lai explains. 

Unlike the segmented levels of 
gameplay found in most titles, Esoteria 
3 drops the player into a giant world 
six scale miles across, in which all the 
different missions take place. The 
player runs, shoots, swims, jumps, and 
lays mines in various environments, 
including cities, forests, deserts, and 
aquatic areas. 

"You can pretty much go anywhere 
you want. If you see something, you can 


the environment must be 
met. "Throughout the game 
you'll see a train. Eventually 
you need to get on that 
train, and, during the battle, 
the train goes out of control. It actually 
banks and tilts depending on the 
speed," Lai says, "and if you're standing 
on top of the train as it rounds a corner, 
you'll begin to slide off." 

Graphically, the world is built with 
polygons, but the enemies and main 
character are all sprite-based. "We 
want to have all the detailed facets of 
real buildings — the ability to climb on 
ledges, break windows, and examine 
objects like tables and lamps." says Lai. 
"But by using sprite-based enemies, we 
can have a lot more of them on the 
screen at the same time. We also want 
the game to run at a good speed, and it 
has to be available to all Pentium 
users." Most of the 25 types of enemies 


The unique, seemingly 
endless architecture 
gives players the feeling 
that they are in a real city 



125 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 

















NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


ng alphas 


126 


“It’s not just 
gonna be 
another 3D 
action game. 
We’re trying 
to expand on 
a lot more 
than that” 


are humanoid soldiers who look similar 
to Stormtroopers. Some obligatory 
mech-looking robots and some 
particularly-nasty flying robots even 
exist in the game. 

"These aren't monsters, they're 
military personnel and robots who are 
trained to kill you," Lai says, noting 
that the computer's AI will be tricky 
because it's programmed to draw 
players into an ambush. 

Weapons exist in primary 

and secondary forms: a primary 
weapon will attach itself 
to Raven's body and draw power 
from him for unlimited shots, 
secondary weapons require Raven 
use ammo. Raven can pack one of 
each type of weapon. Of course, 
multiple special weapons will be 
available, including a cloaking 
device and some extremely deadly 
cluster-bombs. 



Esoteria 3 not only puts the player in hostile urban environments (top), it 
enables them to explore forest and desert terrains as well (above). 
Weapons are useful no matter where Raven finds himself 



Esoteria 3 will also feature 
interactive sound and some unique 
death animation for each of the 
enemies. More importantly, it will 
support 16 players for networked 
competition. "But it's not just gonna be 
another Quake or another 3D action 
game. We're trying to expand on a lot 
more than that," Lai insists, 
maintaining that much of what's been 
shown only demonstrates the basic 
engine. Lai is hesitant to say much more 
about what will be added. 

"We don't like to talk a lot about 
the game's features unless we have 
them to show. As gamers ourselves, we 
know the worst thing is an over-hyped 
game that doesn't live up to its hype," 
Lai says. r7X) 

We couldn't agree more. ULi< 



Elaborate highrises (top) 
and long hallways (middle) 
each pose a unique 
challenge to the player 



These two renderings are representative of two classes of enemy 
soldiers. Yes, they are as tough as they look. It’s up to you, as Raven, 
to defend yourself against them 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 














is not a game. This : 

- 


v ‘ , ■ • -Mu ■>%: 


It ^Kpin‘©>:; 


MIDWAY 


The #1 Arcade game shows you what your government won’t. 


i] Area 51™ ©1995 Atari Gaines corporation. All rights reserved. Developed by Mesa Logic, Inc. converted by Tantalus and Perfect 
I Entertainment Ltd. Distributed by Midway Home Entertainment Inc. Midway' Home Entertainment Inc. is a^ registered trademark 
9 of Midway Games Inc. Used by permission. Licensed by Sega™ Enterprises, Ltd. for play on the Sega Saturn™ System. Sega and Sega __ 

i Saturn are trademarks of Sega Enterprises, Ltd. All rights reserved. Licensed by Sony Computer Entertainment America for use 
5 J with the PlayStation game console. PlayStation and the PlayStation logos are trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment. Inc. PlayStation 










Destruction Derby™ 2 is the perfect combo of balls-to-the-wall racing and 3D wreckage. Seven 
new tracks are longer, wider, faster, plus four destruction bowls. Cars roll, cars flip, cars fly off 
the track. There's more deadly debris to deal with - tires, doors, hoods get jettisoned and serve 
as incoming missiles. There's all new fire, new explosions, and improved suspensions for more 
realistic handling. Destruction Derby 2. Designed exclusively for the true connoisseur of crash, w.ww • psygnosis • com 









PlayStation and the PlayStation logo are trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. © 1996 Psygnosis Ltd. All rights reserved. Destruction Derby''' 2 and Psygnosis and the Psygnosis lo 




S|r^* 
















NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


ng alphas 


Street Fighter EX 


130 


It's 3D... but it ain't number three 




EX is being 
developed 
with the 
same PSX- 
based 
technology 
that was 
used to 
create Star 
Gladiator 


But of all the Street Fighters 
since SF2 (now five years old), this one 
at least potentially looked as if it 
could've earned the sacred "three." 

Regardless of the name, EX is 
currently being developed with the 
same PSX-based technology that was 
used to create Capcom's first 3D 
fighter, Star Gladiator. Of the eight 
selectable characters (no word on 
who's the boss or who's hidden), four 
staple SF veterans make their 
polygonal debut. Co-heroes Ken and 
Ryu, Zangief, and Chun-Li are now 
joined by four all-new characters: 
Skullo, a skeleton-suited warrior; a 
kick-boxer named Pullum; Doctrine 
Dark, who throws a rope and spear 
like Mortal Kombats Scorpion; and 
an as yet to be named, but "very 
serious," fourth brawler. 

Considering Star Gladiator ported 
fairly quickly and easily to the 
PlayStation, we should expect EX to 
do the same. However, at press time, 
Capcom is keeping typically mum 
about this coin-op title, never mind 
console conversions. Either way, it will 
be interesting to see how well the first 
family of fighters holds up in the 
polygon world of Team Tekken 
and the Virtua Fighters. [T3 


The fighters look similar in 
design to those seen in Tekken 
2. Classic characters like Ken 
and Ryu have made a fairly 
smooth leap from 2D to 3D (top 
left). A new character, Doctrine 
Dark, throws his spear (right) 


Format: Arcade 


Publisher: Capcom 

Developer: Capcom 

Release Date: Winter 


Origin: Japan 


tthis rate, there will 
never be a Street 
Fighter 3. Think about 
it — by diversifying 
the Street Fighter 
franchise into, most 
recently. The Movie, Alpha, vs. X-Men, 
and EX brands, Capcom moves the 
series away from ever having to live up 
to that critically incremental number. 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 




















QF THE SWORB 


• TO SERVE KING ARTHUR. TO BATTLE EVIL. TO RISK ALL FOR THE HONOR OF CAMELOT. 


$ 



King Arthur’s Order of the Round 
Table is threatened. The King s half 
sister, the evil sorceress Morgana, h, 
vowed to destroy Camelot and all 
that Arthur has created. i I %. 


virtues of 


journey across 
and beyond. 








Lomax & Evil Ed 
take Good vs Evil to a 
whole new level. 



If you want to fight evil, then you’d better be ready to go the 
distance. The mischievous Lomax is in way over his head. But 
only he has the power to conquer Evil Ed and break the diabolical 
hex that has been placed on his friends. 

Zoom in & out of detailed landscapes up to 10 layers deep. Use 
amazing flame-thrower helmets, helicopter helmets and many 
more, to vanquish evil. 

But look out. The Adventures of Lomax can be habit forming, 
and that’s something even you may not be strong enough to fight. 








Ilio AdvontUftt III Imnnx, tNygnnxh mul llio Psygnosh logo «| tmdommks ol INygixniv lid (Q 1996 fHygnnw lid PloySlolion nnd lltn MoySlolion logo mo KodwwHtt ol Sony (ompuloi Inloclainmcnl. Im. llm tolings icon h o limlomoik ol lire Inlocmlivo Diqilul Sollwnro Astttiolion. 










ACTUAL 30 GAMEPLAV 


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WING;,- 

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Non-stop air. ground, and 
HAND-TO-HAND COMBAT 

Multiple plating options 
include Rail. Panoramic 
and Panocubic modes 

Non-linear 30 game plat 

Standard-setting graphics: f. t 
It s like plating other ft ] 

GAMES CUT SEQUENCES!" 

Infinite replatabilitt 




jl V £- % 


Ravage D.C.X'“ @1996 Inscape. All rights reserved. 
Microsoft. Windows, and the Windows logo are 
registered trademarks ot Microsoft Corporation 


Ravage us on the web at www.inscape.com/ravageOCX 
OR CALL 1 -800-51 0-1 791 FOR MORE INFO. 






ng alphas 

Cloak 



Sierra forges ahead with a new 
that could spell the next leap in 


interface and structure 
graphic adventures 


With your remote control droid cast adrift on an alien planet, you must 
help it elude the mind-reading enemy scum and save the human race 


Format: PC CD-ROM 

Publisher: Sierra 

Developer: Sierra 

Release Date: March ’97 

Origin: U.S. 


ny short list of the 
world's most prolific 
publishers of graphic 
adventures would 
certainly have to 
include Sierra. In 
fact, the company all but had the 
genre to itself from the late 1980s 
through the early '90s. Now the 
company hopes to push the envelope 
once again with its new "sci-fi spy 
thriller/' Cloak. 




On the player's homeworld 

Altopia, rumors surface that the 
inhabitants of enemy planet Baccos 
(known Colloquially as "Bulbs") have 
developed a technology which can 
enslave the minds of humans. As an 
agent of Altopia's key espionage 
division, the player is unable to 
infiltrate the Bulbs directly, since their 
psionic abilities render any physical 
disguise useless. Instead, a surveillance 
robot designed to pass as a domestic 
droid is sent in, controlled by the player 
through a telepresence pod. 

This twist rather neatly collapses 
the distinction between the player and 


the player's character, since all the 
player's character does during the 
game is essentially watch a viewscreen 
and work through a computer 
interface. Lead Designer Mark 
Engelberg brings to the project a 
wealth of experience in this area, as a 
former VR designer for NASA (where 
he worked on a simulation of the 
Hubble telescope servicing mission), 
and other educational and 
entertainment VR applications. 

However, unlike what you might 
expect from a VR team, Engelberg and 
the rest of the Cloak team didn't opt 



The inhabitants of the enemy planet Baccos are referred to derisively as 
‘‘Bulbs” — for fairly obvious reasons 


“I’ve burned 
out on games 
that are 
big on 
exploration 
but lacking in 
interactivity” 

Mark Engelberg, Lead Designer 


135 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


















NEXT GENERATION December 1996 





136 


ng alphas 


Although the game is 
played partly from a first- 
person perspective, 
players must also make 
use of third person views 
while spying through 
surveillance cameras 


Designer 

Mark 

Engelberg 
brings to the 
project a 
wealth of 
experience 
as a former 
VR designer 
for the 
Hubble 
telescope 
servicing 
mission 


for a fully modeled on the fly 3D 
world. Instead, each room or area is a 
"node," where, through a process 
similar to Quicktime video, the player 
has the freedom to pan around 360 
degrees and zoom in and out. "The full 
degree of freedom in something like 
Doom is a real plus/' Engelberg 
explains, "but it's not so good for us 
because we wanted the graphics 
quality to be very high. Second, from a 
game design standpoint, I've burned 
out on games that are big on 
exploration but lacking in interactivity. 
What I'm trying to do is direct people 
to what's interesting, to make the 
movement very quick and almost 
invisible so they can get right to things 
they can interact with." 

Cloak makes extensive use 

of the multithreading capabilities 
within Windows 95. So, while playing 
through an area, the game can 
simultaneously begin loading the 
information for branching areas. Then, 
once the player makes a choice and 
moves on, load time is nearly 
imperceptible. 

Multithreading is also responsible 
for another of Cloak's interesting 
features: the multi-window interface. 
"This came directly from the desire to 
not have delays in gameplay," 
Engelberg says. "Although we've cut 
the load time, even best case there are 
still times when something loading 
freezes up the whole window. Well, 
why should that hang the whole 
system? Why not suspend just the 
thing that's waiting and let you keep 
doing other things? Well, if that's 
going to be effective, you have to have 
other things to do." Any of the game's 
three windows can display at any time 
the robot's POV, the view from 
security cameras under the player's 
control, an information database, the 
inventory screen, or any other resource 
the player has uncovered. 

"One of the things I'm proud of," 
Engelberg continues, "is that the 
puzzles are very diverse. I have a 


background in puzzle design, and 
most of the puzzles are purely 
informational in nature. I don't want 
to give anything away just yet, but the 
thing I like best is that the puzzles 
would be totally valid if you were 
really there — 
there's not much 
picking up objects 
and figuring out how 
to apply them." For 
example, one puzzle 
involves getting two 
correct songs to play 
on a pair of 
jukeboxes. Listening to the songs 
played simultaneously reveals, 
through overlapping lyrics, the 
location of an important item. 

Whether or not Cloak lives up to 
the goals of its ambitious designers is, 
of course, still open to speculation. 
However, with such innovations, 
it could push the envelope. 


The Bulbs’ homeworld 
shows an abundance 
of biomechaniod, 
organic forms 


The Cloak team on their “inspirational” vacation just before production 
began (left). The game closely mirrors these early sketches (right) 


6Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 




















gvass- o Sf 


noo. 


TOTALLY DEMENTED 
FOR PEOPLE WH01 


^f|*3nteractive^^| 

|Hltp:/^vww. par%on)c.com/c 







NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


138 


ng alphas 


Armored Fist 2 



Soon to be seen on a PC screen near you: 
Novalogic's latest Voxel Space project 


The Voxel Space 2-generated terrain is one of Armored Fist 2*s high 
points — this kind of high-res landscape doesn’t come along every day 


Format: PC CD-ROM 

Publisher: Novalogic 

Developer: Novalogic 

Release Date: December 

Origin: U.S. 


Voxel Space 

2 enables 

higher 

resolution 

and finer 

voxel 

elements 



ovalogic (NG 20) is 
certainly keeping busy 
this season, with the 
release of F-22, 
Commanche 3, and, 
without much further 
ado, Armored Fist 2. A sequel to one 
of last year's more intriguing tank 
sims (NG 02), this latest version uses 
Voxel Space 2, the high-res update to 
the company's patented voxel engine, 
and features the M1A2, General 
Dynamics's latest upgrade to the 
preferred hardware of Desert Storm, 
the Abrams main battle tank. 

Once again and for the record, 
whereas a pixel is a 2D picture 
element, a voxel is a 3D picture 
element. Unlike building a world with 
flat polygons, a voxel world is more 
akin to building a world out of tiny 
Lego blocks. As such, each small 
element of the world can have its own 
appearance, location in space, and (in 
theory) physical properties. Voxels are 
especially good at modeling uneven, 
realistic terrains, so for a sim set 
entirely at ground level (like, oh, a 
tank sim, for example) it has distinct 
advantages over traditional texture- 
mapped polygons. 

So far however, the technology 
hasn't progressed to the point where 
more animate objects can be 
effectively built from voxels (although 
it is getting there), so Armored Fist 2 




blends its voxel terrain with polygon- 
based vehicles. Voxel Space 2 also 
enables higher resolution, and finer 
voxel elements. 

Like its predecessor, Armored Fist 
2 is a combination sim and grid-based 
wargame, adding a strategic element 
to the tank-based action. Like all of 
Novalogic's recent releases, this latest 
rev is also fully networkable for up to 
eight players. Given the excellence of 
the original Armored Fist, this 
upgrade should be a worthy 
Novalogic effort. Mii 


The missions are a varied lot (including the obligatory Desert Storm 
scenarios). However, since the game is fully networkable, players aren’t 
limited to the missions on the disc, they can blow up friends for extra fun 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 




















NEXT TIME YOU FIRE UP YOUR PC, 
DO IT WITH DEADLY FORCE. 



You’ve just been named Guardian of Virtua City - an urban killing zone overrun by sharpshooting criminals 
packing heavy weaponry and holding hostages. The law and a six shooter are on your side. The odds will 
never be. Introducing Virtua Squad, Sega’s brilliant PC version of its smash arcade shooter Virtua Cop. 
With non-stop action, it now explodes across your desktop with all the criminal ferocity of its arcade 
partner in crime. Tweaked with unsurpassed fast twitch response and dynamic 3D environments, the 
rapid-fire gameplay will leave you drenched in the unyielding onslaught of 
polygon-based thugs. Think fast or prepare to eat lead. 

CSSS] SEGA-SALES 
http ://www. sega. com/segapc/ 

Sega is registered in the U.S. Patent of Trademark Office. Sega Entertainment and Virtua Squad 
are trademarks of SEGA. ©1996 SEGA, P.O. Box 8097, Redwood City. CA 94063. All rights reserved. 






















"A SUPERIOR RACING GAME THAT 
HAS YOU TEAR ASSING DOWN 
THE HIGHWAYS OF GODZILLA'S 
FAVORITE STOMPING GROUND!" 

-VIDEO GAMES 

"TOKYO HIGHWAY BATTLE IS ONE 
OF THE COOLEST RACING GAMES... 
ONE OF THE TOP GAMES AVAILABLE 
FOR THE PLAYSTATION." 

TIPS & TRICKS 


TOKYO HIGHWAY BATTLE LOOKS 
LIKE THE NEXT BIG THING IN 
RACING GAMES." 

-VIDEO GAMES 

"THIS IS BY FAR THE MOST 
"REALISTIC" DRIVING GAME 
WE'VE SEEN YET" 

-COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT 
NEWS 

"THB WILL DELIGHT 
GEAR HEADS AND 
RACING LANS ALIKE" 

-GAME INFORMER 


JKLECO 


s C AUTI ON: TO ENSURE THE MOST ACCURATE RACING S 
S EXPERIENCE. DEVELOPER. BULLET-PROOF SOFTWARE. S 

S ENLISTED THE GUIDANCE OF RACING CHAMPION. KEIICMI S 
S TSUCHIYA AND AUTOMOTIVE SPECIALIST. MASAAKI BANDOH. N 
S TO TEST YOUR DRIVING SKILLS. BULLET PROOF PAINSTAKINGLY * 
S RECREATED THE PHYSICS AND HANDLING OF EACH RACE CAR. S 

HIGH-PERFORMANCE FEATURES: 

-MODIFY YOUR RACER WITH TURBO CHARGERS. EXHAUSTS, 
INTAKES, SUSPENSIONS, BRAKES. TRANSMISSIONS, AERO 
DYNAMICS, TIRES AND ELECTRONIC s 
-12 SLEEK WORLD CLASS SPORTS CARS 
-POWER SLIDE PAST TRUCKS. BUSES. AND SURFACE TRAFFIC 
-ACTION PACK! D CIRCUITS BASED ON TOKYO HIGHWAYS 
-CONNOISSEUR-CLASS TO TEXTURE MAPPED 
POLYGON GRAPHICS 

-SIX SUPER CHARGED CD SOUNDTRACKS 


Mnanap 


KIDS TO ADULTS 


JALT.CO USA. INC CDS Chmldick lltlve Wheeling, Illinois hliimn Visit Jalnpotl hltp://www jnleco coin 
o 1B96 Rnllet-Pioot Snllwnro. Inc. All flights Reserved .Inlet go nnd Ihe Jnleco logo me Iradommks el Jnleco l td 

Jitlnco mid the Jnleco logo nrn lindemorks or Jalecu 1 Id All Rights Unsolved Playstation and Iho Playstation logos are tiademntks ol llm 
Sony Computet Entertainment Inc IMIS SOI fWARI IS COMPATIBLE WITH PLAYSTATION OAMI CONSOI I S Wltll THE N1SCALC OESIONAIION 


~~ JALECO 


PlayStation 






ng alphas 


Spider 


3D or not 3D? That is the question. Boss 
Studios' 32-bit title offers an eight-legged 
adventure through a creepy-crawly world 


Format: PlayStation 

Publisher: BMG 
_ Interactive 

Developer: Boss Studios 

Release Date: March ’97 

Origin: U.S. 



Spider 's world is at times 
beautiful and at times 
scary. But you can’t stray 
from the preset path 



At times, Spider switches 
to different views (top). 
OK, a cricket is attacking 
the spider. Sure (above) 


fter Mario 64, it's 
hard to play platform 
games that feature 
2D control in 3D 
environments and not 
feel restricted. Sure, 
Crash Bandicoot does a good job of 
hiding its lack of (literal) depth, and 
Pandemonium's fast pace is 
specifically designed to keep players 
from feeling the need to explore the z- 
dimension. But it ain't easy. 

Spider, with all it's cool light¬ 
sourcing, polygonal enemies, and 30 
levels of gameplay, is essentially a 2D 
game. And thus it faces the same 
challenge of making the gameplay so 
enthralling that players don't feel that 
the restrictions placed on movement is 
stealing anything from the experience. 

In a dilemma reminiscent 

of the film Innerspace, the player 
assumes the role of a top scientist 
who, during a raid on his lab, makes a 
last ditch mind-swap with a spider 
test-subject to escape being killed. 

Now as an eight-legged arachnid hero, 




the player must foil the invaders and 
attempt to return to a human body. 

Primarily a platform adventure, 
Spider incorporates some shooting 
elements. While traversing each level, 
players must exploit the spider's 
natural abilities, like jumping, climbing 
walls and ceilings, as well as using silk 
to lower themselves from dangerous 
heights. But this is no ordinary 
arachnid — as a special test-subject it 
can shoot and power-up with projectile 
weapons like lock-on missiles and a 
flame-thrower. Really. 

Each level is built with polygons, 
including the enemy rodents and 
insects, with Boss Studios making 
fantastic use of PlayStation's light¬ 
sourcing to cast an eerie glow upon the 
strange, larger-than-life world. An 
active camera follows the spider with 
the game camera zooming and panning 
similar to Crash Bandicoot's. 

Spider's designers will argue that 
2D control keeps gameplay at an 
exciting pace. But will it be enough to 
keep Mario 64 disciples from 
climbing the walls? LLH 


It’s not your everyday 
spider that conies to the 
party packing heat¬ 
seeking missiles, but 
then, this is no ordinary 
arachnid (above). Use 
your web as a rope (left) 


Reminiscent of Pulse’s 
Bad Mojo, it’s easy to 
enjoy life as a creepy 
crawly critter 



141 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERJ 


































SLICIjNG fliiiiW TH§ HMHS 


It’s 2348 and ten of the mightiest galactic 

r warriors are fighting for control of the Earth’s " 

'"fate. Using Plasma power—energy drawn from the user’s own 
mental strength—the good, the bad, and the freaking ugly are each packing 
hundreds of weapon attacks, countless combos, and the ultimate battle barrage, 
Plasma Finals. Pick from any of the 4 different game modes of this hyper-realistic 
3D fighter and you’ll discover the level of precise control only CAPCOM can deliver.^ 
All against intense backgrounds like Neo Tokyo, Federation 
^Spaceport, and Planet Zeta ; the perfect arenas^ 
to master the fine art of mercy killing. 


i &m 


CCAPCOM CO., LTD. 1996 ©CAPCOM U.SA, INC. 1996. All MfHT?RBEflVED. STAR GlADIAtNfl| a trademark of CA 






-JM ti a registered tildema 

t 


the PJ logo ar« trademarks of Sony Computer 

■Hi ■ ' H 







FOURTH EMPIRE 


STAR GLADIATOR 



m ” m * m 

^ w 

(P**f 


[ IS ,W\ i ... gml 


UK Tg ZCBH^wsaaw. Ml 

NbJNmtx Sk. \ V-r^igK^y. j Yv>$ 




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Activation Code 



FREE! Get the latest issue 
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While graphics powerhouses come and go, 
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H-e spent jears scrapping, 
olawiny anA^nndiny for fke 
rucpft fir play un the Nf-fL 3 All 
J/OU. did 'NaS 
Donlt think k worCt be lookony 
for yo\A. alon^a the boards. 






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For game hints call 1-900-933-S0NY(7669). The charge is $0.95 per minute. Callers under the age of 18 must get parental permission to call. Touch-tone phone is required. Available 24 hours a day/7 days a week. U.S. only. The Sony Computer Entertainment logo is a trademark of Sony 
Corporation. PlayStation and the PlayStation logos are trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. U R NOT E is a trademark of Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc. NHL is a registered trademark and Face Off is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks 














things going to get broken first 






E NTERTA IN M ENT S YS 


I WOULD 


BE 


honored 

m mem 


tour 


FACE 


/✓ 

Hope you aren't too attached » 
to your nose. Play Street 
Fighter Alpha 2 for your Super 
NES® and you have a good 
chance of having it 
rearranged. Ryu, Ken and 
Chun-Li are back along with 
over a dozen more charac¬ 
ters, all spoiling for a fight. 
Custom Combos, new Super 
Moves and Alpha Counters 
give you a fighting chance. 
Almost. You can bet some- 


©1996 Capcom U.SA Inc. All rights reserved. 
™ and ® are tradwmarks of Nintendo of America Inc. 





ng alphas 


Pitfall 3D 



Harry Jr. from The Mayan Adventure 
is back — this time in amazing 3D 


Harry Jr. enters the 32-bit age and goes 3D. Doing new things while 
keeping familiar elements is one of the designers’ main challenges 


Format: PlayStation 

Publisher: Activision 

Developer: Activision 

Release Date: Spring ’97 

Origin: U.S. 



* 41 ^ * 

■ 

' A. jirS. ’J- \ 


Sure it’s in 3D, but Harry faces some familiar 
obstacles — collapsing bridges, anyone? 


he original Pitfall is 
one of the classics, and 
as a series it moved 
easily from the 2600 
to 8-bit, and (some 
would argue not so 
easily) from 8-bit to 16-bit. But game 
technology has moved on again, and 
Pitfall's Harry Jr. is moving with it into 
the 32-bit world of 
3D graphics. 

The challenge of 
the Activision team, 
headed by Director 
Tony Grant, is to 
update the graphics 
and gameplay while 
still retaining a 
connection to the 
series 7 roots. "The 
original Pitfall was 
the first game to 
break out of the 


The PlayStation’s graphics processor has been put to use generating 
moody lighting effects — no two stages look or feel quite the same 


single screen," Grant says, "It gave 
you the impression of this huge world. 
So we definitely want to keep that 
feeling, let the character roam around 
and make sure the environment is 
really menacing, that everything's out 
to get you. We're putting a lot of 
effort to make sure the player is 
always surprised." 

The Harry Jr. of The Mayan 

Adventure has grown up and become 
somewhat cynical in the process. He 
continues to go on adventures, but 
primarily so he can keep the loot for 
himself. While searching for a golden 
idol in the jungles of South America he 
falls through a dimensional rift. "One 
of the problems is that there aren't any 
frontiers anymore," Grant explains. 
"You can't go to deepest, darkest 
Africa because people have been there. 
So instead we're sending Harry to a 
parallel universe. It's a magical, 
elemental universe, which is something 
new and allows us to push the 
franchise in a different direction. It 
also lets us have a little consistency to 


“ Crash 
Bandicoot 
was very 
linear, and 
we certainly 
didn’t like 
that” 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


149 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 
















NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


ng alphas 


150 




Grant says. "It's 
tough, if not 
impossible to have 
jungle trees, vines, 
and so on — so we're 
mixing 3D with some 
2D to fool the player 
into thinking there's 
more there." 

Lighting and 
other special effects 
have been employed 
to give the game 
atmosphere. The 
volcano level, for 
example, is lit from 
below with a dull red 
glow. Many of the enemies morph out 
of the surroundings, and even burrow 
up through the ground. 

Grant continues, "One thing the 
PlayStation does really well is move 
that camera around. Since we're not 
as open-ended and 'go anywhere' as 
Mario, we can choose the best angle 
for every area, so when you go here 
there's a camera tag that brings it in 
close, and when you go there it pulls 
back. What we've found is that once 
you get away from the over-the- 
shoulder perspective, you can get truly 
cinematic shots, and this can clue the 
player. So when the camera pulls back 
and you can see more of the landscape 
around you, then by golly more 


Many of the creatures in Pitfall 3D morph out 
of the surrounding terrain — just one more 
thing for the player to worry about 


Says Grant, “Harry is very 
much a Han Solo-type of 
character. He begins the 
game kind of cynical and in 
it for himself, but by the 
end, he realizes he’s a 
good guy after all” 


The emphasis in the 
game’s character 
design is on 
inventing creatures 
that are unusual, 
yet organic to the 
mystic environment 
the game is set in 


“We’re 
putting a lot 
of effort to 
make sure 
the player is 
always 
surprised” 


the world, and explains things like why 
there are morphing creatures and 
floating platforms." 

The game has twenty-four stages, 
set in eight distinct areas, from jungles 
and temples to more elemental stages 
set deep in volcanoes and up in the 
clouds. "This is Activision's first 
internally-developed PlayStation title, 
and it's going well," says Grant, "the 
system's easy to work with and has a 
lot of great libraries, which we've been 
able to modify to suit our needs." 


The series is not entirely 

breaking away from its side-scrolling 
roots, however. "If you think about 
Crash Bandicoot," Grant continues, "it 
was extremely linear, and we don't like 
that. Mario 64 was really open, but the 
structure we've chosen is somewhere in 
the middle. We have definite paths, but 
they're not as limited as those in Crash. 
They branch a lot, but we 
wanted to make sure the player 
always has a sense of where to 
go. And along with the 
branching you also have a choice 
of different goals — rescue this 
person or collect that item." 

This approach may seem to 
limit the player, but actually 
opens up certain creative 
possibilities for the designers. 
"It's very difficult to create the 


Harry doesn’t just run around (jumping over chasms, of course), he has a fairly wide range of 
fighting moves as well — not quite as many as Ken or Ryu of course, but he gets by 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 

















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nights is here 



Never ever, ever, have you been able to fly, fluid and free, 
IN REAL-TIME 3D. NOT UNTIL NlGHTS.™ THE FIRST TRUE SHOWCASE 

of Sega Saturn's stunning capabilities. The technological 

TOUR DE FORCE THAT HAS EVERYONE IN THE GAMING WORLD 
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The Story 

One of the most immersive, mystical gaming experiences ever, 
NiGHTS establishes an entirely new gameplay paradigm. Think of it 

AS PSYCHODRAMA, AN EXPRESS ESCALATOR INTO THE SCHIZOPHRENIC, 
MIND-BENDING VIRTUAL WORLD OF YOUR DREAMS. 


The World 

Created by the renowned Sonic Team, NiGHTS is a full-on 3D masterpiece. 

A WORLD WITH LUSH DREAMSCAPE REALITIES, ITS OWN MICRO-CLI MATES, EVEN ITS OWN 
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LEVELS OF TRANSPARENCY. WATERFALLS, CURRENTS, WIND, AND, YES, A TORNADO 
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The Gameplay 

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REPLICATE THE TRUE SENSATIONS 
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speed. Witness its ability to 
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And its omnipresent symphony 


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Engineered specifically to intensify the NiGHTS 

EXPERIENCE, SEGA SATURN'S 3D CONTROL PAD ESTABLISHES A NEW 
BENCHMARK IN SMOOTH AND DYNAMIC OPERATION. 


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Ancx T " 61996 Stt.&gz. me. Ai Rghts Reser.*!. Oeffled and fnHshed by Scavenger. lx. Ds!r. 
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ng alphas 


Shivers II: Harvest of Souls 



Sierra is back with more hapless teens 
and another creepy adventure 


Many of the game’s puzzles revolve around listening carefully for hidden 
messages in music and finding mysterious Indian “prayer sticks” — exactly 
why we’re not quite sure of yet, but you’ll be the first to know 



Many of the 
clues and 
puzzles 
appear as 
messages in, 
of all things, 
music videos 


he original Shivers 
was criticized for 
being too much like 
Myst. It was slow, 
static, and the puzzles 
were too puzzling. 
Many players found themselves hoping 
the idiot teen who snuck into the 
abandoned museum would go ahead 
and die, simply to get it over with. 

Sierra and lead designer Marcia 
Bales have taken the lesson of the 
original to heart. Although the game 
again centers around a teen looking for 
lost friends (this time in the oddly 
deserted town of Cyclone, Arizona), 
Shivers II abandons the static screens 
in favor of a sweeping, 360-degree 
panoramic view. The storyline has been 
worked for nonlinear gameplay and 
features three different endings 
depending on the choices made. The 
production design shows a distinctly 
Native American flavor, and the screens 
released so far look excellent. 

The design, however, seems 
somewhat at odds with the game's 
promised "driving rock soundtrack." 
Indeed, music appears to play a key 
role, as many of the clues and puzzles 
appear as messages in, of all things, 
music videos.The final game will 
include five original songs and videos, 
all of which contain vital information 
within the lyrics (hmm, perhaps Pat 
Robertson has it right after all).The 
game features directional audio 
channels as well, so players can hear 
various evil things approaching and 
know which direction they're coming 
from before they appear. 



Format: PC CD-ROM 

Publisher: Sierra 

Developer: Sierra 

Release Date: March ’97 

Origin: U.S. 



Perhaps the most innovative feature 
is the integrated Internet chat. While 
running the game, players can connect 
to their service provider and talk to 
other Shivers II players over the net, 
exchanging hints and strategies. 

If the original remains something 
of a disappointment, the sequel would 
be doubly so if such promising new 
features failed to be matched by an 
engaging story and interesting puzzles. 
If everything comes together n-un 
however, Shivers II can't miss. LLj4 


A tiger? In Arizona? Still, the artwork in Shivers II stands out for its dark, 
brooding, mystical edge and distinctly Native American flavor 


157 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 






















ack Of Knuckles To Jaw. The Grotesque Ping Of Pipe 
Skull. The Revolting Slice Of Sword Through Flesh. 


All Delightfully Expressed By The Compaq Presario. 



The Compaq Presario 8000 Series isn’t 
for everyone. It’s for that certain breed of multimedia 
enthusiast who likes a computer that, well, goes to 11. 
After all, the Presario 8000 Series is the most advanced 
multimedia home computer line ever made. 

For starters, it features JBL Pro Premium speakers 
for the same awesome dynamics one enjoys from a home 
sound system. Rest assured, when combined with our 
Interwave 32-Voice Wavetable Synthesis for brilliant audio 
realism, it’ll definitely rock your world. And quite possibly, 
your neighbors’ 

Another cool feature is a Talk 8c Send 33.6Kbps 
modem. Not only does it give you the fastest Internet 
access* it lets you play games and talk with your oppo¬ 
nent at the same time. But perhaps most impressive of 
all, the Presario has PowerVR 3D Graphics and 6MB of 


graphics memory that bring true 3D arcade-quality images 
home for the first time ever. Translation: frightening real¬ 
ism and incredibly smooth animation. 

The experience is further intensified by a range of 
cutting-edge power and performance features. There’s 
even an innovative gamepad that puts everything in the 
palms of your hands. The same ones that are probably 
getting a little sweaty right now. For more information, 
visit us at www.compaq.com or call 1-800-345-1518. 



COMPAQ. 

Has It Changed Your Life Yet? 








SWEET TOOTH AND THE BOYS REACH NEW 
MORAL LOWS IN THE MOST REPUGNANT 
DRIVING GAME EVER CREATED. 


Blow up world landmarks in eight new 
challenging, multilevel battlegrounds. 


IT'S XOT JUST MAX 
IT'S VEHICULAR MA 


Humiliate and torture your friends with 
eight split-screen, two-player battle¬ 
grounds. 


For game hints call l-900-933-S0NY(7669). The charge is $0.95 per minute. Callers under the age of 18 must get parental permis¬ 
sion to call. Touch-tone phone is required. Available 24 hours a day/7 days a week. U.S. only. PlayStation and the PlayStation logos 

























are trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Twisted Metal and U R NOT E are trademarks of Sony Interactive Entertainment 
Inc. Game © 1996 Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc. Call 1-800-771-3772 for information on Game Ratings, www.sony.com 


















Explosive Multiplayer Action.* 
Compete as one of 
6 Combatants 
or 2 Cyborgs. 
IPX LAN/Modem. 
Deathmatch: 
NO LIMITS! 

City streets. 
Los Angeles Hills. 
Interiors/Exteriors. 
SkyNet Compounds. 
Multiplayer Battlefields, 
ft Single Player Missions. 

* True 3D SVGA Visuals. 

Environment: 
NO LIMITS! 


Revolutionary 
XnGine™ 
True 3D system. 

6 2 of freedom. 
Control System: 
NO LIMITS:/ 


Weaponry: 20+ total. 
Heat-seeking missiles. 
Motion tracker. 
Methods of Destruction: 

NO LIMITS! 

Ground Combat. Rampage 
by Jeep. 
Aerial assault. 
Modes of Combat: 
NO LIMITS! 


For PC CO-ROM 




I 

mmmiiYm 


1370 Piccard Drive, Suite 120, Rockville, MD 20850 • BBS: 301 990-7552 • Fax: 301 921 

Copyright© 1996 Bethesda Softworks. All Rights:Reserved. XnGine® is a registi 


110 • Website: http://www.bethsott.com 

Media Technology Limited. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. 







ng alphas 


Queen: The Eye 


Destination Design leaps into potentially 
hazardous waters with a project based around 
rockers Queen. Fortunately though, it looks like 
it's benefiting from a unique artistic vision 





*4 * 




Format: PC 


Publisher: EA 


Developer: Destination 
_ Design 

Release Date: December 


Origin: U.K. 



ome readers will be 
skeptical of Next 
Generation's 
argument in this 
month's issue that the 
worlds of 
videogaming and music are coming 
together.This title, a Queen-inspired 
PC arcade adventure, could quite 
easily be presented as "exhibit A." 

Queen - The Eye is set in an 
apocalyptic future where the world has 
collapsed into a brutal global 
recession. This weird dystopia is ruled 
by a self-replicating bio-technology 
called the Eye which is seeking to 
eradicate all creative individual 
thought from the human race. As, 
Dubroc,the game's hero, a player 
journeys through five domains and 
eventually destroys the Eye. As with 
most arcade adventures, the game is 
full of cryptic puzzles, traps, and 
secrets and includes over thirty 
motion-captured, polygon characters. 

Surprisingly, Queen - The Eye looks 
gorgeous (the music/videogame 
crossover has traditionally been 
difficult to get right), with some 


astoundingly detailed and atmospheric 
pre-rendered backgrounds. The 
characters are also remarkable, 
featuring real-time facial animation. 
Not surprisingly, the influence of Queen 
is visible throughout. For example, 
each of the five zones — The Arena, 
The Works, The Theatre, The Innuendo, 
and The Final Domain — is modeled 
around imagery and artwork 
associated with the band. So album 
art often pops up in the background, 
tying the game closely with its 
inspiration.The five CD-ROM set also 
features an hour and a half of Queen's 
best known tracks. 

As great as it looks, it's debatable 
just how many progressive rockers are 
buying videogames. Consequently, 

Queen - The Eye, will probably need to 
prove itself almost indispensable in 
order to attract non-Queen fans. 
Considering that dance and alternative 
acts are becoming the standard for 
game soundtracks, there may be quite a 
stigma attached to buying a title 
featuring music by your mom's favorite 
group. On the other hand, the PC does 
attract more mature gamers including, 
no doubt, a number of cloth-eared 
dinosaurs who will revel in its glam 
rock pretensions. For them, this homage 
to the ultimate middle-of-the-road band 
may be just the ticket. Mercifully, the 
artists at Destination Design have 
stopped short of including a 
motion-captured Brian May. 11M 


Die-hard 
Queen fans 
will certainly 
appreciate 
the efforts of 
Destination 
Design 



163 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 

















THIS IS THE CYBER-CYCLE 
YOU’LL BE STRADDLING FOR DEAR LIFE. 


ON IT, YOU AND YOUR STOMACH CAN 
MOVE SIDE-WAYS, BACKWARDS, UPSIDE-DOWN 
AND JUMP OVER OBSTACLES. 


NAVIGATE ANY AND ALL OF THE 
SIX EQUALLY DISTURBING TRACKS. 


Stonher 


Scorcher© 1996 Scavenger, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Created and published by 
Scavenger, Inc. Distributed by GT Interactive Software Corp. All trademarks are 
the property of their respective companies. 











Y&uVI Fight vh t b pr&t^t frbtd a tit) 

tW) k>£ t 5 P°w^ 





The good news is you’re a lot smarter than the guy on the left. Good thing, 
considering you’ll have to solve more than 60 puzzles in order to succeed in 
the twisted, day-animated world of Neverhood. You’ll help Klaymen avoid 
pitfalls, collect clues, and kick a little clay butt. All to defeat the evil Klogg 
DRFAlviWtMtKS and bring the Neverhood back to normal. At least, as 
INT^RAC^ normal as it ever gets. [www.DreamWorksGames.com] 



ng alphas 


Mr. Tank 


Rebellion abandons the dodo-like Jaguar 
and turns its attentions to the PC with an 
unusual tank game 


Format: PC-CD ROM 

Publisher: TBA _ 

Developer: Rebellion 

Release Date: TBA _ 

Origin: U.K. 



The long 
list of 
multiplayer 
options 
should keep 
death match 
fans happy 


Explosions are often 
huge and impressive, 
engulfing whole sections 
of the arena 


ometimes it pays not 
to be too serious. 
Micro Machines, for 
example, is one of the 
most addictive racing 
games ever created, 
yet it has none of the complexity of, 
say, Geoff Crammond's F1GP2 .Tank 
games, though, are usually taken 
seriously by developers. Armored Fist, 
Tank Platoon, and M1A2 Abrams are 
all serious simulations with real 
vehicles and real weapons. 

No gap in any market remains for 
long,though, and Rebellion, 
responsible for Aliens Vs. Predator on 
the now moribund Jaguar, is in the 
process of developing a light-hearted 
tank battle game, curiously named 
Mr. Tank. Instead of having to drive 
an Abrams across the 
Gulf sands, you 
choose a fictitious 
tank from several 
available and drive it 
around an arena, 
blowing up other 
players.There's a 
wide selection of 
weapons and plenty 
of power-ups littered 
around. What there 
isn't — and this is 
typical for a title 
early in development 
— is a storyline. Paul Topping, 
Rebellion's marketing manager, told 
Next Generation: "We're considering 
a futuristic sports setting. At the 
moment, though, we're just working 
on gameplay — which is more 
important, of course." 

In terms of gameplay, then, Mr. 
Tank looks like a updated version of 
Battle Zone, with the emphasis very 



Mr Tank’s backgrounds are garish, to say the least. It certainly makes 
a change from all those Blade Runner -inspired sci-fi settings 


much on the multiplayer mode. Owners 
of a four-plug joystick interface can 
make use of the quad-screen display, 
which enables four players to take part 
on one PC. Further, the game can 
handle up to eight players over a LAN, 
either as a team against the computer 
or just against each other. 


Despite the game's 

multiplayer emphasis, there is a single¬ 
player mode: here, you get a set 
amount of time to destroy a given 
number of computer-controlled tanks. 
On later levels, enemies get more 


167 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 






















NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


ng alphas 


168 



Rejecting sim 
authenticity 
for arcade- 
style 

gameplay, it 
could be the 
nineties 
answer to 
Battle Zone 



The novel quad-screen 
display enables four 
players to participate on 
just one PC 


intelligent and harder to track. 

Graphically, the designers have 
sought to emphasize Mr. Tank's non- 
serious arcade feel by painting the 
game in a vast array of gaudy colors. 
The only arena Next Generation has 
seen in detail, provisionally titled "The 
Shopping Mall/' is a maze of multi¬ 
colored shops and stores, all sporting 
beautifully designed names and ads. 
This extensive use of primary colors, 
plus the abundance of icons, grafitti, 
and tawdry humour (unappetizing ads 
for things like "Cheesy Beef," for 
example, which stress in graphic detail 
the complete inedibility of the 
product), give the level an interesting 
2000AD look, further distancing Mr. 
Tank from realistic sims. 

Sprites rather than polygons are 
used for the backgrounds and vehicles. 
This keeps the speed of the game as 
fast as possible (again emphasizing 
that this is an arcade not a simulation 
title), but sprites also enable the use of 
more colors, accounting for the 
rainbow-esque nature of the settings. 

AS for Sp66d, the game runs 
at over 20 fps on a lowly 486, but this 
is in the visually underwhelming low- 
res mode. However, players with decent 
Pentiums and good graphics cards can 
expect a similar performance in hi-res. 

Along with The Shopping Mall, 

Mr. Tank will include another five to 
seven different arenas. Designers are 
toying with the idea of a subway 
stage, where competitors slug it out in 
a futuristic underground transport 
system, and a park area with trees 
and hills. Suburb, farm, and ghetto 
arenas are also planned. Although 
these concepts sound strangely 


pedestrian, they will no doubt be 
exploited for any possible twisted 
humor. Anyway, they're a change from 
space stations and the cliched dark 
sci-fi city setting. 

The game's use of cool comic¬ 
book graphics and unusual settings 
gives it an individuality that most PC 
titles lack at the moment. Further, the 
list of multiplayer options should keep 
death match fans happy. However, 
Rebellion has a lot of work to do. 
Battle Zone was a long time ago, and 
modern players expect a little more to 
a game than driving around shooting 
at things. Not much more, surely, but 
just a little. Plentiful power-ups, 
traps, and secret areas will probably 
be enough to supplement the rather 
simplistic gameplay. But no doubt the 
Rebellion team has already 
thought of all that. 



For visual diversity, the game includes rural as well as urban settings. 
Rural arenas will feature hills and suitably weird foliage 



Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 
















26 ch.|ira.eters. 29 play Levels. Playable bosses from the past. 
It's not Mortal Kombat, it's all previous arcade MK's crammed into 


Mortal Kombat' 5 Trilogy ©1996 Midway Games Inc. All rights res 
Entertainment Inc. Midway ' Home Entertainmen; is a registered tra 
Licensed by Nintendo. Licensed by Sony Computer Entertami 


:. : Mortal Kombat. the Dragon Design and all character names are trademarks of Midway Games Inc Distributed under license by Midway Home 
■j-.-.a y 'Games Inc. Used by permission. Nintendo and the 3-D "N" logo are trademarks o( Nintendo of America Inc. ©1996 Nintendo of Amenca Inc. 
a ‘or use with the PlayStation game console. PlayStation and the PlayStation logos are trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment. 


PlayStatii 













ADVENTURE OUT OF TIME 



Ilis tab, face to alter history on a ship out of time. 

fiee Demo Disk: www.im.gte.com/titanjc 



©1996 CyberFlix, Inc. All rights reserved. CyberFlix is a trademark of CyberFlix, Incorporated. The GTE logo is a trademark of GTE Corporation. GTE Entertainment 
is a trademark of GTE Vantage Inc. Other brandnames and product names are trademarks of their respective corporations. CyberFlix, 4 Market Square, Knoxville,TN 
37902, Phone: 423.546.1157 Fax: 423.546.0866 Tech Support: 423.546.7846 E-mail:support©cyberflix.com. Call 1-800-771-3772 for Information on Game Ratings. 


GTE Entertainment 





ng alphas 


Psychic Force 


Taito added to the fighter genre with this 
singular arcade title. A decent PlayStation 
conversion would guarantee its success 



The nocturnal urban backgrounds are very reminiscent of those in AM3’s 
Last Bronx, but Psychic Force features traditional arenas too 


The 360- 
degree arena 
appears to 
be more 
than just a 
gimmick. 
Plenty of 
moves 
exploit it 




The game features eight 
graphically diverse fighters 
from different traditions 


Format: PlayStation 

Publisher: Taito _ 

Developer: Taito _ 

Release Date: October 

Origin: Japan 


W 


hen Taito revealed the 
arcade version of 
Psychic Force at 
JAMMA last 
February, it turned a 
1 few heads, despite the 
unveiling of VF3 at the same event. At 
the time,Taito was in serious decline 
and the crowds were merely vultures 
circling above the potential corpse of a 
once-great company. However, Psychic 
Force was a distinctly promising 3D 
brawler, offering something new: 
fighters suspended in the air. 


It iSfl t 311 entirely new 
concept, of course. Sega's Dragon Ball 
Z experimented with a similar concept 
in 2D, but the 3D Psychic Force 
boasts great atmospheric urban 
backgrounds and eight new, varied 
characters, combining urban themes 
with traditional Asian and RPG motifs 
— Samurai characters fight winged 
warriors and wrestlers, while 
backgrounds include misty hills, 
pagodas, and skyscrapers. 

The 360-degree aspect appears to 
be more than a gimmick: there are 
moves that exploit the environment. 
For example, players can defend with 



The “floating fighters” approach employed in Psychic Force calls for 
players to learn a full range of up/down, as well as right/left, moves 


the "barrier guard/' executed with a 
full circle on the joypad, so the player 
performs a full backflip. 

As tradition dictates, the 
PlayStation version comes with extra 
options including Training and Street 
modes. However, the conversion won't 
be judged by new features, but on how 
well the console port replicates the 
original. If successful, this should be a 
worthy PlayStation entry. 

At least the new "floating fighters" 
approach will require a fresh 
repertoire of moves to learn, and for a 
long time this rapidly tiring genre has 
been desperately calling out for 
a little variation. ul£r 


171 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 
























Do you live for the thrill of CRUSHING on adversary? ( 
SLAJVtfVlING the competition? Are you tired of having aj 
help. The Alps Gamepad for the PlayStation™ game console offers V 
waiting for in a fine-tuned, easy-to-hold unit designed by profession 
demanding needs of today's gamers.^^^^^^^^^^ 


To order call 800-720-ALPS 
For more info visit us at www.interactive.alps.com 


llU j'J LI j'J JUS h\b UUHbUU us 
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Licensed by Sony Computer Entertainment America lor use with the PlayStation game console. PlayStation and PlayStation 
logos are trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Alps is a registered trademark o( Alps Electric Co., Ltd. o( Japan. 

Alps Interactive and the Alps Interactive logos are trademarks of Alps Electric Co., Ltd. Patent Pending. 


PlayStation 









ng alphas 


Tenka 





Psygnosis continues to establish 
itself as a game design powerhouse 
with its second wave of PlayStation 
titles — like this one 


Format: PlayStation 

Publisher: Psygnosis 

Developer: Psygnosis 

Release Date: March 1997 

Origin: U.K. 


“Some 
enemies go 
straight for 
the throat, 
while others 
hide behind 
walls and 
time their 
attacks” 

Martin Linklater, 

Head of Production 


Move, shoot, keep 
moving, shoot some more 
— life is good 


Like Quake for pc, the 

enemies are also completely modeled in 
3D. "We have approximately 80 bad 
guys per level, ranging from simple 
robots and genetic mutations to the 
fully animated bionoids," explains 
Martin Linklater, Tenka 's head of 
production. And they're more than just 
a bunch of pretty faces: "We've 
incorporated patrolling heuristics and 
line of sight calculation in the enemy 
AI, and they also respond to noises 
made by the player as he moves through 
the level. Some enemies will go straight 
for the throat, while others are more 
elusive, hiding behind walls and timing 


Just one lonely little guy in this early screen shot, but the final game 
should have roving packs of different enemies to blast away 


Tenka will no doubt look familiar to everyone reading this magazine. However, it’s 
important to realize that unlike a certain other first-person shooter for PlayStation, 
not only is the environment completely polygonal, so are the enemies 


a ne of the premier titles 
in the PlayStation's 
second wave, Tenka 
(NG 17) is well on its 
way to redefining the 
state of console 3D 
shooters as we know them. Like 
Universal's Disruptor (but notably 
unlike William's Final Doom), Tenka 
presents the player with a completely 
3D environment, with walls and floors 
that vary from the flat and level or 
straight up-and-down. 


their attack. This gives us 
flexibility when populating a 
level, and keeps gameplay 
varied and interesting." 

While Tenka 's production 
design is unique — levels range 
from high-tech to medieval 
sewer systems — comparisons 
to the world's premiere fully 
3D shooter are bound to crop 
up. However, Linklater doesn't 
appear worried. "I don't think 
anyone would argue against Quake 
being one of the most groundbreaking 
PC games at the moment," he says, 
"but you also have to consider that you 
need a $3,000 PC to run it with 
anything approaching playability. Tenka 
runs on a standard Playstation and, we 
think, captures the immersive elements 
of Quake and adds some 
storyline and variation." 


173 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 





















NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


ng alphas 


174 


Ridge Racer Grand Prix 

With this latest addition to its classic series. 





Namco pushes Ridge Racer to the next level 


The Grand 
Prix version 
will feature 
a more 
realistic 
driving model 
than ever 
before 


Ridge Racer Grand Prix offers a much wider variety of cars, and most 
importantly, tracks over previous entries in the series, with circuits set 
across Europe in Paris, Germany, and Italy 


Format: PlayStation 

Publisher: Namco _ 

Developer: Namco _ 

Release Date: Spring ’97 
_(Japan)_ 

Origin: Japan 

modifications, or exactly what effect 
these will have, was available at press 
time, the addition of this feature brings 
the Ridge Racer series into the same 
semi-sim class as Andretti Racing and 
Tokyo Highway Battle — a welcome 
direction for this arcade-action series. 

The game features a total of 12 
cars — eight can be selected by the 
player, and four "rival" cars cannot. 
However, in the Ridge Racer tradition, 
a hidden Easter egg will probably 
enable players to control these rivals. 
Also, the game will feature a more 
realistic driving model than before. 

The original Ridge Racer is an 
arcade classic, and while the 
PlayStation conversion had its 
problems, it also has its adherents. Not 
content to sit around and wait for the 
competition to pass them by, Namco is 
pushing the series forward in 
expansive new directions. ul|4 


With such a variety, 
players can say good-bye 
to the Ridge Racer 
tradition of one track 
with a few extensions 


The control in 
Ridge Racer 
came under 
some criticism 
— the cars 
weren’t “heavy” 
enough, and it 
was too easy to 
spin out. For 
Grand Prix, the 
basic controls 
should stay the 
same, but the 
style of driving 
will be more 
technical and 
realistic 


fter a flood of racing 
games this season, 
many of which left the 
venerable classic 
Ridge Racer far 
behind, Namco is 
striking back with this upgrade. Ridge 
Racer Grand Prix, a working title that 
will probably change before its release, 
has been redesigned from the ground 
up, taking advantage of the ever- 
expanding list of PlayStation graphics 
libraries and addressing certain faults 
of earlier games in the series. As the 
title implies, the game's most notable 
new feature is the addition of Grand 
Prix mode, a circuit of courses set 
across Europe. 

As players compete on the 
circuit, money is earned for 
each first-, second-, or third- 
place win. Between races, 
players can spend the money 
to add modifications to their 
cars. Although no set list of 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 

























THE EXPLOSIVE NEW STRRTEGV GHME FROM THE CREATORS OF MILLION-SELLER COMMAND & CONOUEH 


AUEftl 


Available this Autumn for 
Windows 95 & DOS CD-ROM 


• Super VGA Graphics* intensify 
realism and excitement 

• Multiplay features include 
Internet Head-to-Head* 
and 8 player IPX 

• Fight over land, sea and air 

• Thirty new units and structures 
to choose from including MIGS, 
spies, destroyers, submarines 
and more 


• Now battle maps are twice 
as large 

• Over forty missions to play and 
dozens of multiplayer maps 

• Two CDs - one for you and one 
to lend to your favorite victim 

• Create and trade battle maps 
with new terrain editor 

• Three game difficulty settings 


• Dozens of close-ups and 
action movies 

• Internet access tonight!* Play 
against competitors across the 
world with Westwood Chat** 

‘Windows 1 95 version only 

'•Requires existing Internet access 


Command & Conquer: Red Alert is a trademark of Westwood Studios, Inc. © 1996 Westwood Studios, Inc. Ail rights reserved. Windows 95 is c registered t-odemark of Microsoft Corporation. 


nil the pouter None of the responsibility. 








25 grisly minutes of full motion 3D 
animation. Slaughter your enemies 


Butcher villagers or turn them into 
festering pools of decaying flesh 
with one of 22 demented magics. It 
will take you more than 100 hours 
of adventure to destroy those who 



damned you, hut you'll get them. 


i Vampire then morph to a wolf. 


Every last bloody 


escaping into the dead 









dreadful place. Where 
the undead feast on 
the living to survive. 






Welcome to Crystal 


Dynamics Blood 


Omen: Legacy of Kain. 

So cool you won t want to 

Whether you choose 

play it alone in the dark.” 

the hody of man, the 

-PSX 

...tins is tke largest game 

form of wolf or the cloak 

world I've ever seen in an 

of mist, the search for 

adventure console game." 

and annihilation of 

—PSExtreme 

Tke most ambitious 

those who damned you 

adventure game ever 

is your only purpose. 










! 

I 

I 

.8 

g 

I 

i 


I 



The most realistic graphics and gameplay of any sports game ever. 
Sega Worldwide Soccer '97”. 

Forty-eight national teams from around the globe. 

Cup tournaments, shoot-outs, and exhibition matches. 

Create-a-player and weather options. 

Headers, back-heel passes, banana and bicycle kicks. 

Killer slide tackles, and plenty of refs to yellow card ya. 




1 to 2 player game unless 
used with 6Player- adaptor 



www.sega.com 


















ng alphas 


Daytona USA 

Championship Circuit Edition 


Recognizing that its aging Daytona USA conversion fell short of 
expectations, Sega appeases fans with a reprogrammed and redesigned 
conversion of its supreme racing game 



Format: Saturn 
Publisher: Sega 

Developer: Sega AM3 

Release Date: November 

Origin: Japan 



Daytona is still one of 
AM2’s finest moments. 
Hopefully, this new version 
will push the Saturn even 
further than the original 


t's been 18 months 
since Sega converted 
Daytona USA. While 
few could find fault 
with its playability and 
handling, it doesn't 
compare to PlayStation's Ridge Racer. 
Finally, Sega has decided to produce 
Daytona: Championship Circuit Edition. 

Sega stresses that Daytona CCE is 
more than a "remix" — the graphics 
have been completely overhauled, with 
courses, vehicles, and textures 
receiving comprehensive redesigns. 
Further, these improvements have been 
made with no loss of frame rate. Sega 
assures Next Generation that Daytona 
CCE will run full screen at 30fps. 

On top of the visual improvements, 
new gameplay elements have been 



added. There are two new tracks - 
Desert City and National Park 
Speedway - and some new cars, but 
details about these are currently 
unavailable. Players will be able to use 
Sega's new analog pad, and there's 
also a split-screen mode, which will 
finally give fans the two-player option 
they've been waiting for. 

Improving this classic is bound to 
be massively popular with Saturn 
owners. Sega needs a title strong 
enough to attract new gamers to stand 
alongside Virtua Cop 2 and Fighting 
Vipers in the continued battle 
against PlayStation. LLf4 


There’s now 
a split-screen 
mode for the 
two-player 
game we’ve 
all been 
waiting for 



While Daytona CCEs cars look similar to the original game's, the level 
of detail in the backgrounds has increased, as has the visible distance 


179 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 
























Team names, nicknames, logos and other indicia are trademarks of the teams indicated. Super Bowl™, Pro Bowl 1 


NFL are registered trademarks of the National Football League. TM/© 1996 NFLP 


© Tecmo, Ltd. 1996 TECMO* is a registered trademark of Tecmo, Inc. Licensed by Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. for use with the PlayStation game console. PlayStation 
and the PlayStation logos are trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. The ratings icon is a trademark of the Interactive Digital Software Association. 

THIS SOFTWARE IS COMPATIBLE WITH PLAYSTATION GAME CONSOLES WITH THE NTSC U/C DESIGNATION. 


Tecmo, Inc. • 19260 South Van Ness Avenue, Torrance, CA 90501 Phone (310) 787-2900 Fax (310) 787-3131 













IT'S UN’BOWMEVABLE! 


CREATE YOUR OWN 
SUPER TEAM 

Tecmo Super Bowl allows the 
user to trade any player, to any 
team, at any time. With this 
feature you have the ability to 
create your own Super Team. 
Just be careful when you're 
playing a friend. You had better 
make sure he didn't set you up. 
The only advice we can give is 
check your opponent's roster. 

LIVE COMMENTARY 

Tecmo Super Bowl's announcer 
gives true play by play 
commentary, not just an 
occasional phrase or two. If 
perhaps you think he's an idiot, 
you always have the option of 
turning him off. 

TOURNAMENT MODE 

Over the years Tecmo Super 
Bowl players have let us 
know about the friendly 
competitions which sometimes 
take place. This new version has 




EAST » 


a built in tournament mode for 
a total of 8 players playing one 
on one till one of the players 
wins the tournament. Chips and 
drinks are sadly not included. 

DIFFICULTY LEVELS 

Knowing that some people 
haven't been playing Tecmo 
Super Bowl for years we've 
included 3 difficulty settings. 
Easy, Normal and Hard. Our 
football game gives you the 
ability to grow with the game. 
Internally we call this a screen 
save 'cause you don't have to 
throw a rock through the TV 
screen when you get frustrated 
with the game. 

INSTANT REPLAY 

If you want to analyze the last 
several seconds of play, simply 
pause the game and start the 
instant replay. In addition you 
can go frame by frame to fully 
analyze all of the action. Then 
again, you may not want to see 


the interception again, and 
again, and again, and again. 

NEW RECORDS & STATS 

Tecmo's stats engine has always 
been unsurpassed. This year 
we've added the ability to keep 
the stats from any player in any 
position even if it's only for 1 
play during the entire season. 
Here's your one and only chance 
to re-write the record book. 

NEW PLAYBOOK 

From the game play menu, you 
now have access to the entire 
playbook for the immediate 
play. ...for more plays than you 
can possibly want, use, call, 
send-in, modify, change, and/or 
run as the case may be. 

VARIABLE WEATHER 
CONDITIONS 

Ordinary football games 
sometimes have weather 
conditions. So far as we know, 
Tecmo Super Bowl is the only 










TOF.SEASOtt ffSEASO.Xtt *V>R0B0W1* 

SpmncuTY. 

NORMAL 

NORMAL NORMAL 

time _** 

am in 

RANDOM 

5min 5min 

RANDOM CLEAR 

lNJIRY^ 

ON 

ON ON 

' FUMBLE „ 

ON 

ON ON 


BOX! jfiH SE 'COWKTAKY. 


100 

100 ON 





game to actually change the 
weather during the game. So 
one minute it could be raining, 
and then it could start snowing, 
or then again stop or actually 
it's too variable to give you all of 
the possible scenarios. 

MORE, MORE AND MORE 

We've tried to highlight some of 
the most important new 
features of Tecmo Super Bowl 
for the Sony PlayStation. 
Obviously there are more 
features than we can possibly 
list. Tecmo Super Bowl is one of 
the most realistic and 
sophisticated football simulators 
ever created. Aside from all of 
the technical improvements, 
think about the following: 

1 TECMO* SUPER BOWL™ 

1 SONY™ PLAYSTATION™ 

1 TELEVISION 
+ 2 OR MORE PLAYERS 

= GREAT FOOTBALL FUN 


If you like REAL FOOTBALL WITH REAL PLAYERS you'll LOVE TECMO® SUPER BOWL™ 




Visit Tecmo Interactive at: http://www.tecmo.co.jp 

Tecmo's Deception answers {There are no correct answers... Welcome to Tecmo's Deception) 



PLAYERSs 
















Crime is rampant. Jails are overpopulated. The Committee Of Recreational Termination (C.O.R.T.) is hell-bent 

ON PUTTING THE SPORT BACK INTO CAPITAL PUNISHMENT. YOU’VE BEEN SENTENCED! DEATH OR DEATHDROME.™ 

Your one chance for survival and your only hope for freedom. The rules are simple: PLAY OR DIE. 


Enter the arena, the DeathDrome, in a futuristic driving machine in the ultimate battle to save your life. Embark on a 

LETHAL COMBINATION OF OPEN-THROTTLE DRIVING AND HIGH-TECH WEAPONRY. SHOOT AND KILL YOUR FELLOW CONS FIGHTING FOR THE 
SAME PRIZE TO ADVANCE TO THE NEXT ARENA. REACH YOUR “KILL QUOTA” AND YOU TASTE FREEDOM. IF YOU DON’T, YOU DIE. 



• 3 PERSPECTIVES INCLUDING FULL 360° VISION • REAL INTELLIGENCE PROGRAMMED BY FORMER U.S. MILITARY SIMULATION TEAM 

• Open environments with unrestricted 3-D movement • Vehicle motion utilizes real world physics for an incredibly realistic experience 
• Experience deadly arenas like Alcatraz II, Purgatory and The Abyss • Original soundtrack can be played in an audio CD player 
• Single/Multi-Player: Up to 8 players on a LAN/2 Players on the PlayStation™game console 
• Uses MMX™ technology to bring graphics and speed to the next level 



Play like your life depends on it it does 


Available on: PC CD-ROM & the PlayStation™ game console 

zipper VIACOM 

INTERACTIVE ExperienceDeathDromeatwww.viacomnewmedia.com Call 800-469-2539 to order. n?uumfDlft,„ 

iS5 Viacom Internationa! Inc. All Rights Reserved. Viacom New Media, DeathDrome and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of Viacom international Inc. 

PlayStation is a trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc MMX is a trademark of Intel Corporation. 







ng alphas 


Ecstatica 2 



Andrew Spencer Studios uses ellipsoids rather than polygons for all the 
graphics in Ecstatica 2. The result is some amazingly life-like characters 
(above) and lots of strange 3D "textures” (right). "Triangles tend to make 
robot-looking figures,” explains Spencer. "Ellipsoids are more human” 



Notice how the wall is 
made up of ellipsoids, 
rather than traditional 
polygons. The result is 
a more organic look 



t's ironic that a game 
with the title 
Ecstatica 2 should 
come out of one of 
the scruffiest, most 
charmless parts of 
London: a city positively littered with 
scruffy, charmless parts. But here, in 
an unfashionable stretch of 
fashionable Islington, sandwiched 
between two prisons, is Andrew 
Spencer Studios: a highly innovative 
development team obviously 
completely unperturbed by their less- 
than-glamorous surroundings. 



Andrew Spencer: "Our 
aim is to combine high- 
quality graphics with 
strong gameplay” 


Although it's a small set-up 

at the moment — with only five in- 
house employees — things started even 
smaller. Spencer spent years working 
single-handedly on the engine behind 
the original Ecstatica, and when the 
actual game was ready to go into 
development, he recruited just one 
helper: film animation expert Alain 
Maindron. Together they created what 
was at the time a visually stunning and 
complex game — an Alone in the Dark- 
style arcade adventure with dozens of 
locations, dynamic camera angles, and 
beautifully animated characters. 

Although it has aged somewhat 
ungracefully, Ecstatica had one facet 


Next Generation meets the London-based 
team at Andrew Spencer Studios to find 
out the truth about ellipsoids 



Format: PC-CD ROM 

Publisher: Psygnosis 

Developer: Andrew Spencer 

Release Date: January *97 

Origin: U.K. 

that is still notable: its use of ellipsoids 
to create characters and backgrounds, 
rather than polygons. Polygons are, of 
course, constructed from triangles, so 
games featuring them always look 
angular (unless you use thousands, 
impractical in any game where frame 
rate is a concern, or use plenty of 
Gouraud shading). Ellipsoids, on the 
other hand, are, by definition, circular 


Ecstatica 2 
boasts a 
hero who 
can fight with 
fists or a 
weapon, 
as well as 
jump, duck, 
and dodge 



183 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 






















NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


ng alphas 



rather than pointed. 

But what are the advantages of 
using such a unique method? "It's the 
question I always get asked/' sighs an 
introspective Andrew Spencer. "The 
main advantage is the organic-looking 
characters. Triangles tend to make 
hard, robotic-looking figures, whereas 
ellipsoids can be used to create 
rounded, human alternatives. Ellipsoids 
can also be more efficient because you 
can make a much better looking 
character out of fewer shapes." 

The artists working at Spencer's 
studio also point out that ellipsoids 
are easier to animate smoothly, 
giving characters grace and 
deportment missing from their 
polygon equivalents. 

Because of these benefits, polygons 
have been shunned again, and the 
whole ellipsoid engine is now being 
improved for the much more 
graphically impressive, hi-res sequel. 
Ecstatica 2, like its predecessor, is an 
RPG-style arcade adventure.The 


Ellipsoids can 
be efficient 
because you 
can make a 
good-looking 
character out 
of fewer 
shapes 


i 

. B.S. 

[ Before Softimage J 

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NHL is a registered trademark and Powerplay is a trademark of the National Hockey League. 

©1996 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Microsoft and Windows NT are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. Softimage is a registered trademark of Softimage, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary 










ng alphas 


If you 
thought 
polygons 
were the only 
choice for 
3D graphics, 
think again 


object is to kill the demonic sorcerer 
and his army who have overtaken your 
castle and then free your betrothed 
from their satanic clutches. 

On the way, you also have to find and 
put together pieces of the Elder Sign, 
a powerful talisman that has been 
smashed by the evil gang. 

In terms of genre,the 

closest modern reference points are 
probably Time Gate and Time 
Commando — all three games feature 
pre-rendered backgrounds, dramatic 
camera angles, and a combination of 
adventure gaming and arcade 
elements. Like Time Commando, 
Ecstatica 2 also boasts a hero who 
can fight with fists or a weapon and 
jump, duck, and dodge. However, it 
looks as though the player in E2 will 
have much more flexibility during 
combat than in Time Commando. 
Holding down Alt or Ctrl in 
conjunction with the arrow keys 
provides a huge range of defense and 



attack moves, whereas in Adeline's 
effort, fighting was just a case of 
standing there and repeatedly hitting 
people — not particularly engaging. 

Of course, the innovative use of 
ellipsoids for all characters, 
backgrounds, and objects also 
separates Ecstatica 2 from its 


Andrew Spencer Studios 
is actually a small office 
in a London suburb 



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NEXT GENERATION December 1996 









NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


ng alphas 


186 


Flat world or 
round world? 

Despite all of Ecstatica 2’s 
potential problems, Andrew 
Spencer Studios is clearly 
a team to watch. It’s very 
rare that in the middle of a 
huge videogame movement 
(in this case, polygon- 
mania), one company 
should go off on its own 
path and create something 
visually at odds with 
everything else around. 

Although at first 
glance Ecstatica 2 doesn’t 
look that different, it’s a 
game that has developed in 
isolation from current 
trends. There’s no 3D 
Studio, no Softimage, no 
FMV — everything you see 
onscreen has been 
developed in-house. If the 
gameplay matches this 
individuality and spirit of 
innovation, Ecstatica 2 
could bring credibility 
back to the PC arcade 
adventure. It’s certainly 
been a long time coming... 


contemporaries and makes it visually 
unique in today's market. It's a 
method that has forced the artists to 
be much more creative and has given 
the title a truly individual balance, 
style, and twisted realism. It will come 
as a shock to polygon worshippers 
everywhere, but ellipsoids are capable 
of creating a much greater degree of 
3D realism, especially when it comes 
to scenery. Much of the action takes 
place in a huge castle and instead of 
using flat textures with the appearance 
of stone for the wall and floor 
surfaces, the artists have used small 
ellipsoids to create a convincing 
cobbled look. 

Spencer is cagey about exactly how 
ellipsoid graphics are created, but he 
refers to his proprietary editor, which 
uses fractal algorithms to generate 
images. "All the objects are 
algorithmic, which means there's a 
little bit of programming in each one," 
he explains. "Trees and plants, for 
example, are fractals with a bit of 
randomness built in and a few rules to 
follow. Ferns are told to get lighter 
toward the end; plants are told to 
develop stalks and then sprout into 
flowers. In a sense, the program, 
written in C, grows the object rather 
than builds it."The resulting foliage is 
not only very three-dimensional but 
also peculiarly organic and 
extraordinarily beautiful. Lifelike and 
complex, it's a look that belongs on 
the front cover of a Future Sound of 
London CD. 

Improvements on the original 
Ecstatica are not just confined to 
graphics. The first game contained 
around 80 rooms or locations; 



Cinematic camera angles and dramatic animated sequences give Ecstatica 
2 plenty of filmic atmosphere. A good example is this image of the hero 
getting chucked off a high battlement by two ogres 



Forests are filled with beautiful plants and incredibly realistic ferns. The 
flowers are randomly generated from a menu of attributes 


Ecstatica 2 has nearly a thousand, 
some with two or three camera angles, 
making for an impressively diverse 
range of scenery. Away from the main 
castle setting, there are catacombs, 
dungeons, gardens, even villages— all 
explorable by the player. 

There are also around 35 
characters, from barbarians and 
wizards to ores and giant spiders — all 
have specific skills and individual 
strengths. Some are difficult to kill but 
don't inflict much damage on the 
player; others are more lethal but will 
die after just two hits. Furthermore, 
the differences between the enemies 
are not just based on which type they 
are. According to Dave Lowry and Ken 
Doyle, who designed the characters, no 
two individuals have quite the same 
stats. It's a pretty sensible attempt to 
make the fighting in Ecstatica 2 more 
realistic than it has been in many other 
PC arcade adventures. 

What the team have to get 

right is the balance between adventure 
and fighting. Little actual gameplay was 
on show when Next Generation visited 
the design studio, but Spencer promises 
to keep the player entertained, which is 
necessary if the game is to succeed: 
Adeline discovered with Time 
Commando that relying too heavily on 
fighting is not a good idea in a game 
genre that can't offer the visceral 
combat found in Quake or Tekken. 
Ecstatica 2 will have more depth than 
Time Commando — the adventure 
element sounds more complex, and 
players can pick up an array of objects, 
not just weapons. The team is not 
aiming for a totally RPG-like 
experience. Hopefully, the gameplay 
won't be compromised to please all. 

Although the PC is comfortable 
with ellipsoid-based system, later 
platforms might not be so amenable. 
"The PlayStation is going to be 
particularly difficult," admits Spencer. 
"Ellipsoids and the PlayStation _ r ^ j . 
don't really go together." (T*3 





Many new ideas for 
Ecstatica 2 were no doubt 
born during extended 
after-hours pool sessions 


The original 
Ecstatica had 
around 80 
rooms — 
Ecstatica 2 
has about a 
thousand 


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whole or in part, without the prior written consent of NBA Properties, Inc. © 1996 NBA Properties, Inc. All rights 
reserved. Developed by Sculptured Software. PlayStation and the " M ,” logo are trademarks of Sony Computer 
Entertainment, Inc. Sega and Sega Saturn are trademarks of SEGA ENTERPRISES, LTD. All rights reserved. Windows 
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ng alphas 


Duckman 



“If any one 
character 
talks longer 
than a short 
sentence, 
it’s gonna 
be funny” 



Duckman can actually die, but after making 
you feel stupid about dying, the game 
brings you back to life at the same spot 


Format: PC-CD ROM, 
_ PlayStation 

Publisher: Playmates 

Developer: The Illusions 
_ Gaming Co. 

Release Date: Spring ’97 

Origin: U.S. 

hile point-and-click 
graphic adventures 
are usually PC titles, 
Illusions Gaming, the 
developer behind 
Scooby Doo Mysteries 
for the Genesis and the 32-bit Blazing 
Dragons , continues to break the rules, 
this time with the risquS Duckman. 

The "Duckman"TV series walks the 
line between the bizarre and angry sides 
of humor. In the game, Duckman has 
lost his show to a new Super Duckman 
and must get it back by solving a series 
of puzzles, all with an outlandish style 
similar to the program that inspired it. 
There is even a scene in which 
Duckman crashes the Starship 
Enterprise into Paramount Studios. 

"Humor is important," says 

Darren Bartlett, Illusions's Creative 
Director. "If any one character talks 
longer than a short sentence, it's gonna 
be funny in the true vein of Duckman 
— off-beat, non-sequitur, full of sexual 
connotations." The development team 



USA Network's angry duck prepares to 
go interactive, but who will bring his 
voice to the game? 



spent several days meeting with the TV 
show's writers to script out the game's 
plot and dialogue. Duckman will use 
roughly 15 of the show's pre-existing 
characters, with about 20 more created 
specifically by Illusions for the game. 

Even the interface ties into 
Duckman's odd behavior and keeps the 
game simple. Either he's curious about 
an object and will "look" at it, or he's 
angry and going to "use" it in some 
fashion. This third iteration of 
Illusions's graphic adventure engine 
enables production artists to script 
directly into the program, giving them 
greater hands-on capabilities. 

However, occasional production 
problems arise. Duckman is voiced by 
Jason Alexander, George of "Seinfeld." 
Unfortunately, Alexander declined to 
voice the game's Duckman lines. "It 
hurts his voice," says Producer Matt 
Seymour, "He averages about 150 lines 
a show. The game has 800 lines and it 
would destroy his voice. But the rest of 
the tv cast will voicing their 
respective characters." LL^ 



At select points, 3D 
animation is incorporated 
into the show’s 2D look 


191 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


























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ng alphas 


Conquest Earth 




H. G. Wells would be proud 
— sure, the alien walkers 
are from Jupiter, not Mars, 
but look at them go 


h, the real-time 
wargame. Since the 
success of 
Westwood's 
Command & 
Conquer and 
Blizzard's Warcraft 2, everybody 
wants one, and now Eidos has one of 
its very own. The gist of the game is 
somewhat pedestrian: it turns out 
that when NASA dropped the Galileo 
probe into the atmosphere of Jupiter 
in 1995, it was a rather startling 
event to the "Jupitians" who were 
living there (Data Design take note: 
grammatically speaking, inhabitants 
of Jupiter should be referred to as 
"Jovians," but we'll let this one 
slide). To this race of gaseous beings, 
the solid, rigid nature of the probe 
was very upsetting, so much so that 
they decided to invade Earth and 
wipe out its hard-bodied inhabitants. 
(Apparently, living in an atmosphere 
of electrically charged hydrogen and 
sulfur makes one a little touchy.) 

But what sets Conquest 

Earth apart from the pack is the 
amorphous nature of the "Jupitians." 
Since they're gaseous in form, they 
have no tools and use no technology. 
Instead, Jupitians have the ability to 
simply morph into a variety of lethal 
forms. In addition, groups of these 


_ Format: PC CD-ROM 

Publisher: Eidos _ 

Developer: Data Design 

Release Date: Spring *97 

Origin: U.K. 

gas bags can form together to make 
even larger weapons, such as organic 
tanks and assault craft. This gives the 
game a very different strategic 
dimension when played from the alien 
side, since any unit can potentially 
perform any task. 

Of course, as with all real-time 
wargames, there is a plethora of 
multiplayer options; you can play 
either head to head, or cooperatively 
against the computer, as either side. 
Also, Conquest is one of the few games 
to utilize DirectDraw to produce hi- 
color (65,000+ colors), nearly photo¬ 
realistic terrain and units. Battles 
affect the landscape, producing 
charred trees, craters, and rubble. 

Whether or not, in the final 
analysis, Conquest Earth can 
distinguish itself from the rest of the 
C&C wannabes remains to be seen (at 
press time, little gameplay was in 
place). However, with its morphing 
aliens, desperately vicious humans, 
and sheer graphic excellence, 

Conquest Earth certainly has a 
shot at being a worthy clone. UH 



With fantastic scenery, 
Conquest Earth looks to 
deliver a beautiful ride 



Fighting strategically 
advanced aliens isn’t easy, 
but it makes a good game 


197 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 



































a wild 

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Systems. The Land Rover Name and Logo are trademarks of Rover GroupUmited-used under license. 
Hummer and Humvee are the registered trademarks of A.M. General Corporation. JEEP and Jeep grille 
design are registered trademarks of Chrysler Corporation, U.SA and are used under license. 

© CHRYSLER CORPORATION 1996. Chevrolet K-1500 271 and Body Design are trademarks of 
Chevrolet Motor Division, Gener al Motors C orporation, used under license to Accolade, Inc. Licensed 
by Sony Computer Entertainment ArhSrideMowree.iyith the PlayStation game console. PlayStation and 
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201 


alphas 


N64, but will 


ng 


Wonder Project J2 

Enix brings a uniquely Japanese genre to the 
it work (or even show up) in the states? 


From an 
omniscient 
viewpoint, 
the player 
either helps 
or hinders 
Josette 


Format: Nintendo 64 


Publisher: Enix 


Developer: Giburo/Mint 

Release Date: Winter ’97 


Origin: Japan 


artificial life creature of Anark's 
Galapagos, Josette initially has zero 
knowledge of her environment, and the 
player must answer her questions, 
teaching her how to use tools and 
other objects. Josette also learns by 
trial and error and never forgets, so 
her behavior grows more complex the 
longer you play. 

J2 isn't Enix's first foray into this 
style, as it expands 
upon the design of 
the original Project 
J, a Super Famicom 
title that never saw a 
U.S. release. While 
it's too early to tell if 
this game will find a 
U.S. publisher, it's 
reassuring to know 
that someone out 
there is taking unique 
new approaches to 
gaming within the 
budding N64 
market. iLj* 


Josette throws the book 
at the player — because 
she doesn’t know what it 
is. Will you tell her? 


With polygonal sequences in the minority, J2 
doesn’t demand nearly as much processing 
power as other N64 titles like Super Mario 64 


Anime style, bit¬ 
mapped graphics 
make-up Josette, 
her pet bird, and 
most of her 
immediate 
surroundings. 
Josette explains 
how to use the 
N64 controller (top 
left) and if she 
disagrees with 
choices made by 
the player, she 
shows a range of 
emotions from 
happy to enraged 
(middle and 
bottom left) 


everal games in which 
the main character 
works independently 
from the player have 
been attempted ( Pac- 
Man 2, Galapagos ), 
but few have met with success in the 
U.S. But in Japan, everything from sim 
aquariums to high-school dating games 
have found their way to market. 

Enter Enix's Wonder Project J2, a 
game in which the player works from 
an omniscient viewpoint and can either 
help or hinder the learning process of 
an android named Josette, a 
Pinocchio-like little girl who must save 
the world. Much like Mendel, the 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 






































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ng alphas 


204 


Toshinden 3 




New tricks and new 
effects herald the third- 
generation Toshinden 


Takara’s latest upgrade to the game that helped put the PlayStation on 
the map shows an ongoing commitment to graphic excellence, and the 
use of updated PlayStation graphics libraries 


blocked camera, a problem that 
plagued the first two games. Lighting 
effects are also being dramatically 
improved, with light-sourcing from 
special moves now reflecting back onto 
the polygonal characters, bringing a 
refined look to their flaring bursts. 

Mysteriously, little has been said 
about enhancements to the fighting. 
As 3D brawlers continue to evolve, 
Toshinden 3 needs a more elaborate 
combo system to stay fresh among 
"me too" titles like Iron & Blood . 
And it really needs some new moves 
to keep an edge on hungry new 
contenders like Tobal No. 1. IJL^ 


PlayStation's 3D fighting dynasty 
reaches its eagerly awaited third 
generation. Can it still compete? 


Only Kayin and Eiji are on view so far. Each sports a polygonal makeover with 
enhanced detail (and surely animation). At press time, only these two can be 
confirmed, although the final roster may include Sonya, Mondo, and Fo 


Format: PlayStation 

Publisher: TBA _ 

Developer: Takara 

Release Date: 1997 


Origin: Japan 


nlike Capcom (see 
Street Fighter EX), 
Takara has taken less 
I than two years to go 
| from the original 
Battle Arena 
Toshinden to the third installment in 
the series. The first Toshinden was a 
dynamic groundbreaker, but while 
Toshinden 2 was an improvement, 
fighting fans had moved on to the 
rapid-fire execution that Tekken 2 
brought home. Now that Toshinden 3 
is in the works, Takara is looking to 
make its own enhancements. 

The screenshots provided so far 
show new camera and lighting effects, 
putting the game's graphics on par with 
Tekken 2. The camera work has 
undergone some heavy tweaking as well: 
characters appear large when fighting 
close, and you're less likely to have a 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 
























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For more information, see your local software 
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Suspect erects "clothesline" 
between two pylons, knocks oncoming 
driver off his vehicle, steals said 
vehicle, then runs over driver 
repeatedly with it. Claims he was 
participating in a "friendly" game 


of "Rocket War." 


£ 


1 

/ 

/r 

'<5? 

|l ft 






Suspect drives at speeds in excess 
of 100 mph over speed limit, cutting off 
other drivers, endangering drivers 
by running them into walls and pylons. 
On the street, this is known as 
"Rocket Racing." 



Suspect, armed with large ball 
attached to cable, drives erratically, 
smashing ball into oncoming vehicles, 
hurling ball at other drivers in an 
attempt to score points during illegal, 
unsanctioned game of "Rocket Ball." 



A bad combination. 


FOR A FREE DEMO OR TO BUY ROCKET JOCKEY, 
CALL 1.888.SegaSoft WWW.SEGASOFT.COM 


:ience logo. Rocket Jockey and the Rocket Jockey logo are trademarks of Rocket Science Games, Inc. Windows is 


trademark of Microsoft Corporation. 






























(r. 


kes, piranhas, monsters 
and mutants. SPOT’s somehow 
managed to land himself in a world made of movies. Even 
his agent can’t help him now. Can you? In the movie-spoof 
worlds of classic blockbusters, westerns, Kung Fu, UFO’s 
and a whole bunch more, the player’s job Is simple: keep SPOT 
alive long enough for him to “do” lunch. Not become lunch. 


^ Over 20 levels of 
arcade-style action 
and puzzle gameplay 

® 20 minutes of 

integrated cinematics 


^ Rich, vibrant graphics 
with isometric viewpoint 
and 3-0 rendered worlds 

^ CP-quality sound 


m 

Interactive 

entertainment 


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Visit our web site at www.vie.com 


©1996 Virgin Interactive Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved. The SPOT character is a registered trademark of Dr Pepper/Cadbury North America, Inc. 

Virgin is a registered trademark of Virgin Enterprises, Ltd. Burst is a trademark of Virgin Interactive Entertainment, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. 

















NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


ng alphas 


210 


Now Activision has an 
entry in the C&C style 
realtime wargame genre 
— but can Dark Reign 
really hope to, well, 
command and conquer? 


Dark Reign 





“Hostage 
Takers” 
brainwash 
enemy units 
into fanatical 
suicide 
bombers who 
attack the 
enemy HQ 


Dark Reign’s designers have consciously 
taken the best elements of other wargames’ 
interfaces, streamlining them for simplicity 


ince the release of 
Command & Conquer, 
it seems everyone and 
their proverbial 
cousin is getting into 
the wargame act. 
Activision is no exception, and offers 
almost unlimited variety as its creative 
contribution to the party. 

With Dark Reign, Activision hopes 
to breathe some needed life into the 
genre by introducing a more varied 
range of unit types and giving them 
vastly different, and sometimes strange, 
abilities. Spy units, for example, can 
disguise themselves as enemy infantry, 
and when within range 
of enemy facilities, 
"report" on those 
facilities to enable the 
player to construct 
similar units. Scouts can 
morph and appear as 
part of the terrain, while 
"Hostage Takers" 
brainwash enemy units, 
turning them into 
fanatical suicide 
bombers who run back 
to the enemy HQ. 

Many of the game's 
terrains include civilian 


The terrain varies widely 
in elevation, adding new 
strategic wrinkles 


Format: PC CD-ROM 


Publisher: Activision 


Once again, it’s 
“us” versus the 
nebulous “them” 
in a high stakes 
game of strategy 
and much blowing 
up of stuff. War is 
Hell, but 

wargames are as 
fun as it gets 


structures and units, and these 
(depending on which side the player 
chooses) may have to be shielded from 
harm. In all, there are over fifty 
different unit and structure types. 

The terrain also plays a role. Dark 
Reign features varying terrain height, 
and line of sight is computed 
realistically, so units on top of a cliff 
can't see units hugging the cliff wall 
below. But what is perhaps Dark 
Reign's most exciting extra is the 
inclusion of the programmers's map 
editor.This map feature enables players 
to design their own maps and, in 
theory, ups the replay value immensely, 
as players can generate their own 
original missions. 

Activision is to be commended for 
attempting such an ambitious expansion 
of an established genre. If everything 
fits together as planned, it could p-wj 
very well take the hill. (JL|« 


Developer: Australis 

Release Date: January ’97 

Origin: U.S. 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 

























d a»4 


11 

advan 0 


a ai ie 
em Pore 
■ l Sht s 


Sanctioned by 



Developed by 




BowtiNq 

HaU of Fame And Museum 
S t Louts, Mol 




- 0 » 

PlayStation 


Windows® 95 


Ten Pin Alley™ is a trademark of American Softworks Corporation. @1995 PEG Limited Partnership. Bowling 
Hall of Fame and Museum® Is a registered trademark of Bowling Hall of Fame and Museum, St. Louis, MO. 
ASC Games™ Is a trademark of American Softworks Corporation. Ten Pin Alley™ is developed by Adrenalin 
Entertainment. Head Games™ is used by permission. Windows® 95 Is a registered trademark. PlayStation™ 
and the PlayStation logos are trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved. 



http://www.ascgames.com 













NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


ng alphas 

Broken 


Konami's latest first-person shooter takes 
a familiar genre into an increasingly 
familiar setting. But will any gameplay 
innovation join the trip to Area 51? 


Helix 


212 


Quick FMA (Full Motion 
Animation) sequences 
punctuate snappy dialogue 
between missions (left). The 
player must question a 
number of characters during 
the game, Including this 
thinly veiled spoof of 
Schwarzenegger named 
“Black Dawn” (right). When 
angered, Jake refers to him 
as “Franken-kook" 



Format: PlayStation 

Publisher: Konaml 

Developer: KCEC _ 

Release Date: January *97 

Origin: U.S. 



n first look, Broken 
Helix appears to be 
merely next in the 
ever-growing list of 
3D shooters. But 
while the game may 
not push any graphical barriers, it 
looks to make up for it with comical 
dialogue and some unique gameplay as 
the player assumes 
the role of wise 
crackin' Army bomb 
squad specialist, 

Jake Burton, sent to 
diffuse bombs inside 
the secret military 
base Area 51. 

The early version 
of the game 
available at press 
time offers a 3D 
world sparsely 
populated by blocky 
characters. However, 


An enemy meets a painful demise (top). 
“Don’t wet your pants," Burton spouts while 
questioning a squeamish scientist (above) 


there's still plenty to be added, 
and Konami is fully aware that the 
engine needs tuning. However, many 
features already in Broken Helix 
don't need fixing. 

In an inspired bit of 

casting, actor Bruce Campbell (.Army 
of Darkness , Evil Dead I and ID 
provides the voice of Burton. As 
Burton, the player can toggle between 
two conversation modes: either a 
calm, inquisitive smart-ass or a 
threatening, razor-tongued, smart-ass. 

There are interesting gameplay 
elements as well. Most 3D games have 
players running and gunning for their 
lives, but Broken Helix adds a "sneak" 
mode, enabling players to crawl to 
avoid security cameras and maneuver 
through tight spaces like air ducts. 

Ultimately, Broken Helix may not 
sport much that's new, but it's 
already a bunch of fun. LLM 


The heads-up map makes 
navigation easy without 
missing any action 


Be a calm, 

inquisitive 

smart-ass or 

a razor- 

tongued, 

threatening 

smart-ass 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generatlon.com/ 






























rporation. TNN* and the TNN» logos are registered 
fospitality and Leisure Management Co., Inc. 
ks Corporation. Hardcore 4x4™ developed by 
ie PlayStation logo are trademarks of Sony 
t of Sega Enterprises, Ltd. All rights reserved. 


SPORTS 


radical terrains: 


vszs 

^Pension 

























NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


ng alphas 


214 


Independence Day 




ID4 was a sci-fi success at the box 
office. But can Fox Interactive's 
game of the movie do the business? 


“It’s the 
only game I 
know of 
where you’ll 
have to fly 
between 
large 

buildings” 


Can ID break the trend of 
great movies turning into 
shallow games? 


Format: PlayStation, 
_ Saturn, PC 

Publisher: Fox Interactive 


Developer: Radical 

Entertainment 


Release Date: Spring *97 

Origin: Canada 


before destroying alien ships over 13 
levels, set around the world. 

According to Fox Producer 
Michael Arkin, the game will have an 
"arcade feel/' complete with power- 
ups like shields. The player flies eight 
different fighter planes, including an 
F-16, a MiG-31, and even an Alien 
fighter with which to attack the 
Mothership in the last stage. 

Graphically, the world is 

completely 3D. Each city, the player's 
fighter, and all the enemy fighters are 
polygonally built. "Most first- 
generation, aerial combat games on 
PlayStation featured a few mountains, 
or maybe a flat-mapped city with a 
small cluster of polygonal buildings," 
says Arkin."But our cities are more 
realistic. We've got real landmarks like 
the Sears Tower — you'll even have to 
fly between large buildings." 

Fox Interactive's film-based games 
have had their ups and downs, with the 
miserable Pagemaster and the 
enjoyable Die Hard Trilogy. Hopefully 
/D will be more like the latter, because 
— personally speaking — after the 
Atari 2600 debacle, we're still n-vo 
waiting to kick E.T.'s ass. ClH 


The action takes place in the skies over some of the most famous cities 
on Earth, as giant alien spacecraft hover overhead. The question remains 
though: shouldn’t you hold off and just let them take France? 


t was inevitable that 
when Independence 
Day became a big hit 
this summer, someone 
would jump on it. So 
now Fox Interactive 
invites players to take the role of the 
fighter pilot (loosely based on the Will 
Smith character) who leads the charge 
against the giant spacecraft hovering 
over the world's major cities. From 
either a cockpit or chase-view, players 
must complete several objectives 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 






















An alien conspiracy 


A bizarre 

and brutal dimension 


A deadly trap with only one 
chance for survival... 




THE ULTIMATE BATTLE 
IS THE OKI 
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Perfect Weapon’" is a trademark of American Softworks Corporation. ASC Games rv is a trademark ot American Sottworks Corporation. Developed by Gray Matter. Head Games’" is used by permission, ©t 994 AVC Limited Partnership. © 1996 American Softv/orks Corporation. PlayStation 







AGES 13 + 










NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


ng alphas 


Odd World Inhabitants: 


218 



Add 32-bit power to the pro-rendered sprites and backgrounds of 
Donkey Kong Country, and you have an idea of how sharp Episode I 
looks and how smoothly the characters are animated. Abe (above) is 
followed by the Elum, a camel-like beast he rides (right) 


01) 1IW 0IU D 

IBHIlIiJTS 



Founded in 1994, OddWorld 
Inhabitants is now a 25- 
person development house 
in San Luis Obispo, CA 


t was one of the 
most impressive 
console games 
shown behind 
closed doors at 
E3. It was reason 
alone to understand why over half of 
Acclaim's former Public Relations 
staff were now demoing products as 
employees of GT Interactive. It was 
initially called "Sou I Storm ," and if it 
lives up to half of its potential, 
PlayStation owners will spend next 
year asking, "Crash who?" 

Oddworld Inhabitants was co¬ 
founded in 1994 by Lome Lanning, 
President, and Sherry McKenna, 
C.E.O. Lanning's father was an 
engineer for Colecovision, quite 
possibly making him the first "second- 
generation" game developer. He and 
McKenna were both enjoying lucrative 
careers as special effects/computer 
animators, until Lanning convinced 
McKenna that the new 32-bit 
machines had the potential to take 
gameplay and graphics to new depths. 

"Most important to us was 
creating new types of play mechanics 
with a conceptual story you get 
attached to," Lanning says. "Our 
minimal specs are the Saturn and 



Episode I 

Even though it's not 3D, a new reworking 
of the Flashback genre may turn out to be 
an innovative 32-bit gaming experience 



Format: PlayStation, 
_ PC CD-ROM 

Publisher: GT Interactive 

Developer: OddWorld 
_ Inhabitants 

Release Date: Summer *97 

Origin: U.S. 

PlayStation." And so work began on 
their first game, based on Lanning's 
five-part story set on an alien planet. 

Episode I drops the player in an 
alien world in the role of Abe, a 
member of a slave-race who works in 
a meat-packing plant. Accidentally, 
Abe discovers his masters are using 
his race as foodstuff, and so his eight- 
level adventure begins. 

The game's design is 

primarily side-scrolling frames 
similar to FlashBack, with 110 
screens in the first level. But don't let 
the comparison mislead you. "The 
most important thing to us is 


“Most 

important to 
us was 
creating new 
types of play 
mechanics 
with a 
conceptual 
story you get 
attached to” 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 






















One of the new features 
Episode 1 will bring to the 
genre is the use of voices, 
sounds, and conversations 


gameplay. There are a 
lot of situations in 
this game that are 
lifelike, and that's 
where it's very 
different/' Lanning 
says. "You're going to 
have to understand 
the characters' 
personalities and 
behaviors, not just the deadly 
mechanics. Understanding the 
characters is how you're going to get 
farther along in the world." 

The characters are extremely 
lifelike, as Abe can tip-toe by sleeping 
enemies, and he has a "chant" power 
that enables him to take possession of 
the mind's of enemy characters. The 
player's control then actually shifts 
from Abe to the enemy, and the player 
can use that enemy to destroy others. 




Oddworld’s experienced 
staff storyboarded the 
action in advance 


Another new feature 

Oddworld introduces is a language 
element Lanning calls "gamespeak," 
which he says is partially inspired by 
the audio puzzles of Loom, a classic 
LucasArts PC title. During the course 
of the game, the player learns to 
interact with other characters by 
giving or responding to voice cues. 
Using the directional pad, Abe can 
issue one of eight simple commands 
like "Wait Here" and "Follow Me." 

It's hard to believe anything this 
innovative has been kept under wraps 
for so long, but as Lanning explains it, 
"There's a reason no one's read about 
Oddworld yet. We wanted to have 
something to show before we started 
talking, to prove what we're 
playing with is real." liM 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 



Old games leave you 
feeling flat? Jump into 

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14 breathtaking 3-D levels 

2 characters & 7 different worlds 
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Unique special weapons & items 


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Your team of fellow speed-mongers includes Nikki, Fargus and Sid - an acrobatic 
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through unbelievably spacious, 3D levels of their deranged kingdom while 



shape-changing into a fireblasting dragon or raging rhino. Dur Freestyle 30 Camera cranks out the ultimate blend of brilliant 


visuals and knock-out perspectives. So just sit down and get taken for a ride, it’s pure rocket fuel. 



Soon Available on PC CD-Rom 




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ng alphas 


Wayne Gretsky’s 3D Hockey 


Atari's arcade sister is finally showing its 
colors with Wayne Gretzky's 3D Hockey 


Format: Arcade _ 

Publisher: Atari Games 

Developer: Atari Games 

Release Date: December 

Origin: U.S. 

interesting as it made its way to other 
formats, the game was a huge 
commercial success, and the 
cornerstone title for the company as it 
began evolving into a smart, cool game 
maker with its finger on (or at least 
near) the pulse of the arcade audience. 
Following Primal Rage was Hoop It 
Up, a simple, enthralling basketball 
redemption game. Then came Area 51, 
the surprise arcade hit of the year, and 
now a PC port and soon to be released 
on PlayStation. Area 51 was such a 
big hit that it all but stole the spotlight 
from Sega's Virtua Cop II, which 
appeared in the arcades at relatively 
the same time. Wayne Gretzky's 3D 
Hockey, due in the arcades as we go to 
press, will be followed by at least three 
new promising games, and the 3D 
hockey game will see a near- 
simultaneous release with a slightly 
modified home version on Nintendo 64. 


“We used 
Wayne as our 
model for 
skating 
movement, 
videotaping 
his motions 
from several 
different 
viewpoints” 



Gretsky’s 3D Hockey boasts a full roster of NHL teams and players, right 
down to updated stats and the correct numbers on the jerseys 



The action is fast and has a real hockey feel — 
even more impressive for providing both an arcade 
mode and a more demanding simulation mode 



The four-player hockey 

game offers much of the cartoonish 


ooking at what Atari 
Games will bring into 
the arcades over the 
next year, one could 
honestly say the 
company is making a 
comeback. Considering the places it's 
been, and the changes it's seen (the 
most recent alteration was its 
acquisition by Williams-Bally/Midway 
from Time Warner Interactive) it's 
relatively surprising that a small band 
of staffers have done this well with the 
few products they've released and the 
mediocre support they've received 
from what was Time Warner. 

Take, for 
example, Primal 
Rage. Although 
only a three-star 
game in our book, 
and less and less 


223 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 





























NEXT GENERATION 


ng alphas 


? 

i 


224 





While playing In the arcade mode, the puck leavea a nice streak for the 
players to follow, reminiscent of the Fox Track — very slick 


feel popular with many other Midway 
games: flaming pucks, big-headed 
players, hidden characters, and Swiss 
cheese goalies, to name a few, But this 
signifies Atari's learning curve In 
making successful arcade games (In 
the last two years) as much as It 
shows Midway's Influences. But what 
separates this game from, say, 
Midway's own Open Ice Hockey , Is Its 
attempt at being a solid simulation as 
well as a good arcade game. In fact, 
Gretzky actually has four modes of 
play: Player-selectable Mode (best for 
tournaments), Simulation (which 
features lower scoring and tougher 
defense), Pro-slrn (a mix of the two), 
and Two-on-Two Mode.This strategy 
could prove valuable for Atari because, 
like soccer, hockey Is at best a 
demographlcally regional game, and 
offering the slm and arcade modes 
should give the game more than a 
fighting chance at pleasing hockey 
fans of every stripe. Add to this list 
both NHL and NHL PA licenses, all 26 
NHL teams, and 260 of the best 
players, and things start adding up. 

It/S unusual, however,for 

games to sit on the slm-arcade fence 
and be any good at all, but there's 
some proof In the pudding here. Next 


DM/nm* 


Generation editors played the game at 
AMOA (Amusement and Music 
Operators'Association) and the N64 
version In the offices and were greatly 
impressed at the game's playability. 
Two levels of cup play (the Stanley 
Cup and the Van Elderan Cup — 
named after the company's president) 
and a total of 59 opponents are almost 
sure to provide gamers with long-term 
appeal. In addition to standard moves 
such as passing, shooting, and scoring, 
players can check, trip, perform diving 
blocks, and certainly the best part of 
any hockey game, they can fight with 
grab punches and uppercuts. 

Visually, much attention has been 
paid to detail. Producer Robert Daly 
explains, "We used Wayne as our 
model for skating movements, 
videotaping his motions from several 
different viewpoints. In the lab, we 
built a 3D model that we animated to 
follow his skating exactly. So, even 
though the players are made up of 
thousands of textured polygons, they 
move very fluidly." Built around 3Dfx's 
Voodoo Graphics chipset, the game 
engine theoretically can handle real¬ 
time frame rates upward of one million 
texture-mapped triangles per second. 
Even In the early version we saw, the 
result Is very smooth, seamless 
character animation and quick¬ 
reacting players. 

Finally, with 42 hidden characters 
and personalized Input codes (so 
players can check their standings and 
statistics), Atari Games has done 
its homework and done It well. 

Hockey fans may be In for a 
real hat trick, and Atari Games 
may be back In the zone. 


Atari Games is the only surviving remnant of the once proud 
Atari label. It Is somewhat ironic In that It was the division sold 
off years ago as an unprofitable venture (see page 97) 


“Even though 
the players 
are made up 
of thousands 
of polygons, 
they move 
very fluidly” 

Robert Daly Producer 


Checks, shots, even 
fights — It's in there 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generatlon.com/ 















c xpenence your 
weur obsession! 

Announcing The Elder Scrolls: 
Daggerfall, Bethesda's latest installment 
in the Elder Scrolls Series and the sequel 
to the award-winning TES:Arena. 

TES: Daggerfall is one of the most 
ambitious computer games ever devised. 
This is no dungeon hack, no bit of fluff 
with medieval trappings. DaggerfalTs 
world is twice the size of Great Britain, 
filled with people, adventures, and 
scenery as real as reality. This is a world 
designed to allow you to play the game 
any way you want. Be the Hero or the 
Villain... or anything in between. 

TES: Daggerfall is all your favorite 
movies and books wrapped up in one 
package — with hundreds and hundreds 
of hours of playtime. Prepare to experi¬ 
ence your new obsession. 


• Daggerfall 
to a mirror 


-johnny W' s0 " 
EdVtoMn-CWeJ* 


■PC Gamer 


■ • . 


1370 Piccard Drive, Suite 120, Rockville, MD 20850 • BBS: 301 990-7552 • Fax: 301 926-8010 • Website: http://www.bethsott.com 


Daggerlall, 1 ” The Elder Scrolls'” X n Gine IM and Bad Dog'“ are trademarks ol Media Technology Limited All other trademarks 
Copyright © 1994 1996 Media Technology Limited. All Rights Reserved. 


the property of their respective 


m 

f * 



w 



nriT® 

Ml 

it 











REPORTING FOR DOTY ON THE 
PLAYSTATION GAME CONSOLE! 


P ANZER GENERAL took the gaming world by storm. 

It established an entirely new game category, 

P prompting Computer Gaming 
World to call it, “...such fun that 
eien non ’ war 9 amers are likely to 
hemselves hooked. ” 
v, prepare to become an ALLIED GENERAL, 
e II in SSI’s premier 5-Star Series" has you 
sights — and this time the battlefield is the 
-of-the-art PlayStation ' game console! 

Like its award-winning predecessor, success 
epends on your effectiveness as a leader. 
Play 3 campaign games as an American, 
British or Russian General against the 
German army. Or choose over 35 sce- 
ios that let you play as either the Allied or 
Axis side. Watch your forces grow with each victory. 

Use new troop types such as Finnish ski troops. Engage in a 
little conjecture: several what-if scenarios include Churchill’s 
never-realized invasion of Norway — Operation Jupiter. 

With so many choices, your abilities 

will be tested as never before! All of — , ——- r— - 

this and more await your challenge. 

Welcome to the next generation 
of strategy gaming! 1 = 5^1 I 


PlayStation 


Visit us on the 
world wide web: 

www.ssionline.com 


ALLIED GENERAL. 

The excellence continues. 

To Order: call 1-800-601-PLAY with Visa/MC 
(North America only). 

ALLIED GENERAL and PANZER GENERAL 
are trademarks of Strategic Simulations. 
Inc. ©1995 Strategic Simulations. Inc., 
a MINDSCAPE Company All rights 

L reserved. PlayStation'" and the 

PlayStation'" logo are trademarks of 
^I Sony Computer Entertainment. Inc. 


A MINDSCAPE'- COMPANY 










ng alphas 


Dual Heroes 



Players 
can expect 
different 


Format: Nintendo 64 

Publisher: Hudson Soft 
Developer: Hudson Soft 

Release Date: TBA (Japan) 

Origin: Japan 



fighting 
strategies, 
depending on 
which virtual 
opponent 
the player 
chooses 


hile Killer Instinct 
| and Mortal Kombat 
Trilogy have come to 
Nintendo 64, they 
I seem a sad waste of 
the system's much 
vaunted polygon power. Indeed, they 
beg the question: where are all the 
N64 3D fighting games? 

Well, we found one — Dual Heroes, 
in development at Hudson Soft in 
Japan. The game is still very early in its 
production cycle (estimates place the 
game at 15% to 20% 
complete), with only two 
fighters in place: Gai, in red, 
and Zen, in blue. Eventually 
the game is planned for a 
total of eight characters; 
however, this belies the 
game's most innovative 
feature, the "virtual gamer." 

Instead of merely 
providing a single AI for 
each computer-controlled 
fighter, the designers at 
Hudson Soft, led by 


Then again, poor old Gai looks like he’s 
pining for a morphing mutant to pick on 


It's the first announced 3D fighting 
game for Nintendo 64, but don't hold 
your breath — it's a long way off 



No, it’s not a Power Ranger, it’s Gai, one 
of the game’s two existing characters 


producer Keta Hamamiya, have opted 
to invent several AI opponents to 
"control" the characters during a one- 
player game. If all goes according to 
the plans of the design team, the 
experience will be closer to competing 
against human players on a linked 
cabinet than competing against a CPU. 
Through this method, the player can 
expect several different levels of 
challenge and fighting strategies from 
each character, depending on which 
virtual opponent the player chooses to 
fight against. This would set the game 
apart from most fighting games, in 
which each character has one set of 
strengths and weaknesses. 

Due out by spring or early summer 
of '97, Dual Heroes could make its 
mark by simply being the first 3D 
brawler for the system (although an 
N64 version of Williams's War Gods 
is rumored to be in the works). 
However, it's clear the designers have 
opted to not simply release any old 
product, but push the technical 
envelope as well. (JL£* 


Dual Heroes is so far 
from completion, even 
we don’t know what 
these moves signify 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


227 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 





















Are you smart enough to pass the Tecmo’s Deception Examination? 

You have been wrongly convicted of murdering your father and are about to be burned at the 
stake. By the power of darkness you have been delivered from your death. How far are you 
willing to go to save you life? 


1. Who are you going to trap and kill? 

a) All of the intruders. 

b) Some of the intruders. 

c) Just the intruders you don’t like. 

d) Just the intruders who piss you off (like Yurias). 

e) Most of the above. 

2. How are you going to trap and kill the intruders? 

a) Spike them from the wall, 
h) Crush them with the Stomp. 

c) Zap them with the Volt Cage. 

d) Use Mind Kill. 


§3K 


* 


1 PTIFi ?> 

\c 

u/t c 

O 7 X t |i 1 
Up 62/ICC} 1 

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* 1 

it 

* * I 


IB 


As tarte: 

'"Ifc I come, 
revenge seekers 


mn 


e) Most of the above. 

3. What are you seeking? 

a) Revenge, 
h) Vengeance. 

c) Redemption. 

d) Acquittal. 

e) All of the above. 

3. Are you really... 

a) A good guy. 

b) A bad guy. 

c) A victim of circumstance. 

d) A wimp. 

e) All of the above. 

For the answers see the Temco Super Bowl ad in this same magazine. 

If you hay^ti’t 

© Tecmo, Ltd. 1996 TECMO'’ is a registered trademark of Tecmo, Inc. Licensed by Sony Computer Entertainment America for use with the PlayStation game console. PlayStation 
and the PlayStation logos are trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. The ratings icon is a registered trademark of the Interactive Digital Software Association. 
THIS SOFTWARE IS COMPATIBLE WITH PLAYSTATION GAME CONSOLES WITH THE NTSC U/C DESIGNATION. 


|ii» Get.outia our 


TECMOS DECEPTION IS NOT FOII THE LIGHT HEARTED: 

Tecmoi Deception co 
be appropriate for « 


ed Tecmo’s Deception, you haven’t DIED yet! 


Tecmo, Inc. • 19260 South Van Ness Avenue, Torrance, CA 90501 


Phone (310) 787-2900 















TECMO’S DECEPTION 

RESERVATION/DEPOSIT FORM: 


The customer whose name and address is listed below wishes to place a non-refundable deposit on Tecmo’s 
Deception. Please contact your local game distributor and/or your central buying office for specific instructions. 

Name- Amount of Deposit $ _ 

Store Stamp or Receipt 


Address 


Phone Number. 


Reserve me_copy(s) for the Sony PlayStation 1 


PlayStation 


Invitation to tw^cness 


Visit Tecmo Interactive at: http://www.tecmo.co.jp 















NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


Back Issues 


All the true gamers have back issues of Next Generation. A videogame aficionado’s library 
needs all of ’em. How many do you have? 



NG 1 • 3D0’s Trip Hawkins 
interviewed • A comprehensive look 
at all the next generation systems • 
The Violence Tapes: Four of the 
world’s most controversial game 
developers in one virtual room 



NG 2 • Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of 
Mario) interviewed • Saturn: The 
complete story so far* Gaming on 
the information superhighway (aka 
“Joyriding”) • Revival of the Fittest: 
Why is retro gaming so big? 



NG 3 • Sega’s Tom Kalinske quizzed 
• Does PlayStation live up to the 
hype? • What’s wrong with the PC? 
(part one) • Game music feature 



NG 4 • Nolan Bushnell (the founder 
of Atari) interviewed • Atari: from 
boom to bust, boom again (and then 
bust again) • Gumpei Yokoi (inventor 
of Virtual Boy) quizzed • What’s 
wrong with the PC? (part two) 

NG 5 • Sony’s Steve Race 
interviewed • Nintendo 64: The 
Story So Far • Apple: The Ripe Stuff. 
The story behind Apple’s new 
"game” machine, the Pippin 

NG 6 • Peter Molyneux (Bullfrog’s 
leader) talks gameplay • M2: 3D0 
bites back? • PlayStation’s 
Disciples: How PS-X games are made 

NG 7 • Sam Tramiel: Atari talks back 
• 3D0: Past, Present, and Future. 
What has 3D0 achieved so far, and 
what is its future? • Electronic 
Entertainment Exposition (E 3 ) — the 
definitive 1995 show report 

NG 8 • Howard Lincoln: Why the hell 
has Nintendo delayed Ultra 64? • 
Sega Saturn: What the TV 


commercials don’t tell you • 
Japanese RPGs: coming to a game 
machine near you 

NG 9 • So which 32-bit system is EA 
on? An interview with EA’s Bing 
Gordon • Reality Check: The Future 
of Virtual Reality • Saturn: Sega’s 
battle plan to attract developers 

NG 10 • Is this the end of FMV as 
we know it? An interview with Digital 
Pictures’ Tom Zito • Feature: Do 
videogames screw you up? • Motion 
Capture: A report on the latest game 
development technology 

NG 11 • Yu Suzuki, head of Sega’s 
AM2 arcade division explains how he 
makes the best arcade games in the 
world • The Top 75 movers ’n’ 
shakers in the gaming industry: who 
really wields the power? • Mind 
Games: the rise and rise of artificial 
intelligence in computer games 

NG 12 • Chris Crawford — 
videogaming’s self-proclaimed 
"Prophet in the Desert” interviewed 
• Head to head: each and every 
games machine rated and compared 

NG 13 • Sega of America’s President 
Tom Kalinske explains why Saturn 
can still win the war • 1995: the 
year videogames changed forever 

NG 14 • Silicon Graphics’ George 
Zachary explains what’s under 
Nintendo 64’s hood • The world of 
Videogame Marketing: How Sega and 
Sony try to get into your brain 

NG 15 • Sony’s Marty Homlish talks 
about his 15 minutes • The Next 
Generation Lexicon: a dictionary of 
gaming terms, from A to Z 


NG 16 • An interview with the most 
famous Western game developer, 
Dave Perry • Plus, How to get a job 
in the game industry 

NG 17 • So Howard, what’s the 
excuse this time? Why Nintendo 64’s 
delayed. Again • Future Joysticks — 
how force feedback will change the 
way you experience videogames 

NG 18 • World exclusive: Bill Gates 
talks about Microsoft, games, and 
the rise of the PC • What’s 
Microsoft’s game? • DVD: Friend or 
Foe to the game player? 

NG 19 • Brian Moriarty on how 
online, multiplayer games could help 
you get laid. • Online Gaming: 

What’s the real future of this hot 
new genre? • Nights — the making 
of Yuji Naka’s 32-bit masterpiece 

NG 20 • Nintendo, Sega, and Sony 
all under one roof • Is Super Mario 
64 any good? • Nintendo 64: 20 
reasons why it could fail 

NG 21 • The top 100 video and 
computer games of all time (it’s the 
most controversial feature we’ve 
ever done) • Interview with Williams’ 
Eugene Jarvis on retro gaming 

NG 22 • 3D0’s Trip Hawkins — he’s 
back, and claims that 32-bit is dead 
• Can Apple compete with the big 
guns? • Venture capital feature 

NG 23 • 300 pages! • Will the real 
boss of Sony please step forward? 

An interview with Mr. Teruhisa 
Tokunaka • Sega Touring Car 
Championship revealed • Artificial 
Life feature — how a new generation 
of gameplay is evolving 








Next Generation Back Issues (u.s. only) 

Back issues NG 2 through NG 23 are $4.99 + $1.50 delivery per issue. • Back issue NG 1, the Premier Issue, is $7.99 + $1.50 delivery. 
Please Mail Check to: Imagine Pub., Inc. • Back Issue Dept N896 • 150 North Hill Drive • Brisbane • CA 94005 


230 

































Table of Contents 


_Why TEN?_□ 

An overview of the TEN features that make it stand out 


_Confirmed Kill_0 

Jump into a classic warplane and fight for your life 


■_Shadow Warrior_ 

There's plenty of blood and gore in 3D Realms' 
follow-up to Duke Nukem 3D 


.AD&D Dark Sun: Crimson Sands 


This online AD&D game offers a compelling persistant environment 


EB_Other Games on TEN_ 

Duke Nukem 3D, Command & Conquer, Worcraft, and more... 


An Hour in the Life of Three TEN Users JB 

See how some typical TEN members use the service 


.Smashing Technical Hurdles. 


TEN has overcome great obstacles to bring you excellent gaming 







































Welcome to the Worl 

of Online Gaming 


T here's more and more talk lately about multiplayer gam¬ 
ing. So what's the big deal? Well, just ask anyone 
who's ever actually played a multiplayer game, and 
they'll tell you. Playing a human opponent adds a whole new 
level to gaming. Instead of computer Al, — which, let's face it 
most of us can learn to defeat in a few hours, human opponents 
are always unpredictable — learning our tricks, developing a 
few of their own, or just doing capricious things. The bottom 
line is that human opponents keep games interesting. And of 
course, it's more satisfying to blow away a friend in a game 
than to kill a computer-controlled sprite! 

In fact, most of the hottest PC games over the past few 
years — from Doom to Duke Nukem 3D and QUAKE — have 
had a multiplayer component. That's what keeps the games 
fresh and keeps us playing. Great. Multiplayer gaming is excel¬ 
lent and it's here to stay. So what's the problem? 

The problem is that most gamers don't have access to any¬ 
place to actually play multiplayer games. To play most multi¬ 
player games, you need access to a Local Area Network, or 
LAN. Of course, there aren't that many houses that have LANs 
in them. So most people have to play at school (where bring¬ 
ing anything so foreign as a game into the lab is usually 
frowned upon), or work, where playing games is generally filed 
under "career limiting actions." 

Actually, work is where most multiplayer games end up 
being played. In fact, it's been theorized by some computer 
industry insiders that many employees artificially inflate their sys¬ 
tem requirements and needs simply to get a Pentium powerful 
enough to play Duke and other multiplayer games. But few peo¬ 
ple really want to play games at work. Despite the convenient 
excuse of "working late" to a long-suffering spouse after a 
marathon Command and Conquer session, most of us would 


rather play games where we're comfortable — at home. 

Enter the Internet. Although some games have long had 
modem play options, the Internet now offers the ability to play 
the hottest and fastest multiplayer games online, against people 
from all over the country. 

The Total Entertainment Network, or TEN, the premiere 
online gaming service, has ended its rigorous beta-testing 
process and is open to the public. Over the next 1 3 pages, 
we'll show exactly what TEN offers in terms of features, exclu¬ 
sive games, and other content. We'll also show how TEN is 
solving the technological problems that stand in the way of 
online, multiplayer gaming, and give you step-by-step instruc¬ 
tions on how to log on. You may encounter some terms you're 
unfamiliar with when reading this supplement. That's why, start¬ 
ing on page 10, we've provided a glossary of terms. 

Online, multiplayer gaming offers a depth of experience 
that can be found nowhere else. It's going to take you places 
and offer play experiences you've never had before. So read 
on, then get ready to log on and have the time of your life. 

TEN. It's the future of gaming. 


























Accolade's empire building masterpiece. Deadlock offers a 
high level of graphic and strategic sophistication. 


11— ■■ n . 1 

One of the most popular PC games in years, Duke Nukem 
3D from 3D Realms has action fans in a frenzy on TEN. 


Why TEN? 


O nline, multiplayer gaming is clearly the future of the 
PC game world. The question is, how do you 
choose which service to go with? After all, they all 
promise the ability to play games with others over the Internet. In 
the end it comes down to two things: features and experience. 


Features 


Experience 

Experience? Isn't this a new field? How could anyone possibly 
have experience in the world of online, multiplayer gaming? TEN 
does. Daniel Goldman, chairman of the Total Entertainment 
Network, has been programming computers for 23 years — 
since he was seven years old. "I made games on the 
Commodore PET, HP Calculators, old teletype machines — 
everything." But Lots of people have game experience. What 
we're talking about is online, multiplayer games. "For us, the 
online portion started in 1983, on the Apple II. We wrote our 
own BBS, started working on online games and it just progressed 
from there." This was Planet Optigon, a multiplayer games BBS 
and the direct predecessor, along with the Mac-based Outland, 
of the Total Entertainment Network. 

Along the way, Goldman and the rest of the TEN team 


learned what worked, and what didn't. "We looked at the dif¬ 
ferent psychological archetypes that exist, and how you get peo¬ 
ple really engaged in something and give them a lot of control. 
Finally, we realized that you need an entire service in order to 
technologically really support a compelling gaming experience, 
because the other online services, AOL, Prodigy, and 
CompuServe just are not set up to deal with realtime games." 

And that was the genesis of TEN as an independent online 
gaming service. What it means to gamers is that the entire effort 
of the TEN staff is devoted solely to games. "If you're AOL or 
Microsoft, games are one thing you do," says Goldman. "But for 
us, creating the service is the most important thing. The entire ser¬ 
vice, from the editorial, to the technology, to the front end is 
geared toward creating an exciting place for gamers to hang 
out and have fun." That kind of dedication has led the TEN team 
to come up with an unbeatable feature set for TEN. 


The important thing to remember about the TEN feature set is that 
it has been devised by gamers for gamers. All the issues that 
other gaming services are just starting to encounter were found 


What do I need 

to flr . I 

Here's a rundown on the requirements for the 
service itself — some games may (and most do) have 
higher system requirements. Don't worry, Mr. 
Bandwidth will let you know if your system is too 
weak to play a game. 

EQUIPMENT MINIMUM RECOMMENDED 

System 486/66DX2 Pentium 90 or better 

OS Windows 95 Windows 95 

RAM 8 MB 16 MB 

Modem 14.4 kbaud 28.8 kbaud 

CD-ROM 2x 2x 





















GAMii 


iCommarid 

Dark Sun Online 
Deadlock 

Duke Nukem Retail 
Duke Nukem Shareware 
Necrodome 
Panzer General 
Warcraft 


(Scroll down for some in-cognitive thoughts...) 


How d 


TEN is fully integrated with the Internet. So, if you 
have a SUP or PPP Internet connection, you're in 
business. If you don't, or if you find that your Internet 
service provider (ISP) can't give you a fast enough 
connection time, TEN has dial-up numbers available 
nationwide. There is an hourly surcharge for using 
the TEN dial-ups. If you buy a game that supports 
TEN, and you don't have an Internet connection, 
you're in luck, because, from the game CD, you'll be 
able to sign onto the Net using Concentric, a nation¬ 
wide ISP that works extremely well with TEN. 


ConTENts: 


j ... News@TEN (September 16, 1996) 
| Thursday Night's Dogpile on TEN-Update #1 
I ... Game Wire (September 5, 1996) 

Necrodome Rips Through TEN 
Playing Command & Conquer on TEN 
... Ask Mr. B (September 12, 1996) 

How Do I Effectively Use Zones? 


News@TEN is for late-breaking updates, 
wliile GameWire keeps you up to date on new 
games and the like. Ask Mr. B is a hints and 
tips column to improve the TEN experience. 


— and solved — by the Planet Optigon 
and Outland teams years ago. That means 
that "out of the box," TEN will offer a far 
more compelling experience to both hard¬ 
core and casual gamers alike. 

One feature that separates TEN from 
the pack is the company's policy of obtain¬ 
ing exclusive rights to hot games. On the 
one hand, this makes sense in a business 
sense for TEN, but it offers gamers a big 
advantage, too. Not only will you know 
exactly where to find other fans of the 
game, but incorporated into the interface 
of TEN-exclusive titles will be a way to 
seamlessly log onto the TEN service. And 
if you're not currently a subscriber, you'll even be able to join, 
since the TEN software will be included on the CD. In fact, if 
you bought the full retail version of Duke Nukem 3D, you've 
already experienced this, since the TEN software is included on 
the CD. By offering exclusive titles, TEN also ensures full coop¬ 
eration of the publisher, meaning that not only will many TEN 
exclusive titles be optimized to work even better with the ser¬ 
vice, TEN will be able to offer more complete support material 
surrounding the game. 

That's another TEN feature. When you join TEN you don't 
simply log on, play games, and log off (although, of course, if 
that's your style, you can). There is an entire web area devoted 
to providing support material for each game, in the form of 
innovative "Dataspheres." Here, you can find tips and tricks for 
playing, download software patches, shareware, and demos, 
communicate with other gamers, and more. It really is a one- 
stop shopping for fans of a game. Soon, TEN will also support 
newsgroups for discussion of TEN issues. 

What if you don't have web access, or even Internet access 
at all? Does that mean you can't access TEN? Not at all. TEN, 
through an agreement with Concentric Network Corporation, a 
nationwide ISP, provides nationwide dial-up numbers for the ser- 


connect 


vice. Using these dial-ups gives you full access to the World 
Wide Web. 

The TEN dial-ups do more than just give you access to the 
service and the Web, though. They are also a way for you to 
guarantee a fast, reliable, connection to the service. Although 
you can sign on using any ISP, by using the TEN dial-up, you 
can ensure that you are using a direct path to the service, and 
guarantee a low-latency situation when connected. Even 
gamers with their own ISPs may want to try using a dial-up line 
if their service is not delivering the speed they require for fast- 


































Oh yeah, it's Westwood Studio's follow-up to 
Command & Conquer, and it's available on TEN. 


Categoric; 


Tomv 


Check out our support area jam-packed with 
goodies like game files, customer service, and 
billing. (Well, WE think of billing as a 
"goody.") 


ILE FACTORY 


PATCHES ~i[ SHAREWARE|| DEMOS |T HOMI RREW ][ TIXT WES [I OIHSRS j 


Daniel Goldman, 
chairman of TEN, 
has years of 
experience in 
online gaming. 


action games. How can you tell? At unique character 
on TEN, Mr. Bandwidth, monitors your connection, 
telling you what your connect speed is, and rating the 
different arenas where you play based upon the 
speed you'll get inside each one. 

The TEN service is divided first by game, then 
by Zone (zones are loosely geographic, although 
there is special zone for people who are using a dial¬ 
up connection), and finally by arena. The arenas are 
where you chat with other gamers and join games. 
Arenas are set up for users of different abilities. And 
I if you're doubtful, you can check other players' stats before you 
I begin (stats are only active for Duke Nukem, Command & 
I Conquer and QUAKE now, but they'll eventually be in place for 
I all games). To ensure newbies don't get slaughtered, there's no 
I stat boost for killing a player with far worse stats than you. 

One nice thing about the chat rooms is that they contain 
I some of the best conversation partners on the Web. Why? Part 
I of it is TEN's rigorously enforced 18-plus only policy. "We don't 
I want kids on the service," says Daniel Goldman. "I don't want 
I to spend the one hour I have to play each evening with a bunch 
I of kids. I don't want to get my butt kicked by a bunch of kids, 
I either! [laughs] It was a decision we made a long time ago, 
I and we revisit occasionally, but we feel strongly that we're 
I going to build the best community by making TEN 1 8-plus." 

Community. That's the feature that will really make TEN 
I stand out. When you play on TEN, you will not be playing 
I against an anonymous "STOAT3492," but a real person, with 


stats and personal information that you can see, and who you 
can talk to and interact with in a real way. TEN is dedicated to 
building this community, and, importantly, sub-communities with¬ 
in the service. "You can't just have a million people intimately 
hanging out with each other," says Goldman. 

One of the first areas this will be seen is around the Dark 
Suns RPG. A free web area, The Havens, will exist around the 
game, and within that area will be special web-sites for specific 
clubs and guilds. There may be a Thieves' Guild, where 
thieves, and thieves only, could go to chat about techniques. 
Another Guild or club may be open to all — say one that pro¬ 
motes a specific religion or political view in the game. 

Over time, TEN will continue to grow. What's most excit¬ 
ing about this is that there is a mandate at TEN to make sure 
members have as much of a hand in its growth as anyone else. 
There's no question about it. TEN has the experience that a ser¬ 
vice like this needs and the features that gamers want. If you 
want to play online multiplayer games, you want to play on the 
Total Entertainment Network. 


TEN 


Check out the DataSpheres for well-rounded 
information on TEN games. 

2 Holding down the CTRL key while you click on 
the "Create" or "Join" buttons will help you 
browse for that elusive .exe file and drag it 
out into the light of day. 

Right-click on names in the Who's Here list for 
a mini-menu of options: Profiles, Rankings, 
Muzzle and Latency. 

4 Before quitting out of games on TEN, let 
others know you are leaving via the game 
chat. It's good gaming etiquette. 

14.4 modems handle latency just as well as 
28.8 modems for high-speed games. 


If you don't want to wait for all the players in 
your Duke Nukem 3D game, press the L key 
during game launch. They'll catch up later. 

A program that disables the Windows 95 key 
(talk about easy targets) is available through 
the TEN support area. This key can crash 
(end) a game when it is struck accidently 





























Smashing 


Hurdles 


Tech 


n ca 


L aunching a nationwide, Internet-based, multiplayer gam¬ 
ing service is not a trivial matter, there are awesome tech¬ 
nical hurdles that must be overcome, both on the network 
and in the back office. Dave King, co-founder and chief techni¬ 
cal officer of TEN, outlined some of them, "delivering low laten¬ 
cy, being able to scale to handle demand so performance does¬ 
n't degredate, being able to monitor the entire network, reliabil¬ 
ity, being able to bring new titles to the network." Here's how 
TEN has managed to solve the problems in the way of excellent 
gaming over the Internet. 

Low Latency 

"Our game servers are right on the Internet backbone, right off 
the routers, so we minimize the hop count," says King. This means 
that when a signal goes from your computer, to TEN and back 
again it doesn't have to travel very far, which keeps lag-time low. 
Also, by signing key deals with providers, notably Concentric, 
TEN has managed to create what King calls a "carpool lane," 
on the Information Superhighway. What that means is that when 
you use Concentric to connect to TEN, either because Concentric 
is your normal ISP, or because you are using a TEN dial-up, the 
signals are guaranteed to be routed ahead of other Internet traf¬ 
fic in times of congestion, delivering true, low-latency perfor¬ 
mance for fast-action games like QUAKE. 

Scalability 

Unlike some online gaming solutions, TEN is designed so many 
thousands of users can be on at the same time, with no perfor¬ 
mance degradation. That's because TEN uses distributed, mod¬ 
ular mini-computers, working in parallel, as servers, which can 


should go to play other people of 
your level, or with your interests. 


measure of symbols transferred 
per second. 


Application Program 
Interface. An API is a group of 
libraries developers use to easily 
conform to certain standards. 


BANDWIDTH - A measure of the 
amount of data that can be 
transferred at one time. High 
bandwidth is better than low 
bandwidth. 


BBS — Bulletin Board System, a 
private dial-up service, similar to 
America Online or CompuServe, 
but generally run by one person or 
a small group and with a more 
targeted audience than a major 
online service. Many BBS's are run 

CONTINUED ON PAGE 8 


Inside each zone are 
multiple arenas, which you enter to 
chat with other players and start 
games. The arenas are generally 
organized by skill level, so you can 
quickly determine where you 


BAUD — a measure of the 
bandwidth of a modem, baud is a 


be added easily, unlike some services that use difficult-to- 
upgrade mainframes. 


Network Monitoring 

Using special proprietary technology, TEN can constantly 
monitor network performance, which the user sees through the actions 
of Mr. Bandwidth. This way, users will know, before a game, what 
kind of performance they can expect, and can plan accordingly. 


Reliability 

With servers spread across the entire Internet, TEN is more reli¬ 
able than most services you'll find on the Internet. And, the com¬ 
pany's main server connection has a redundant, fault-tolerant 
connection equivalent to more than 200 T1 lines — and that's 
just to do back-end stuff, not to do actual game serving. 


The System Architecture 

When new games come to TEN, it’s because TEN provides a 
special API enabling developers to specialize their games to 
take advantage of TEN's features easily. Designing multiplayer 
games strictly for LAN play is one thing, but on the Net, things 
get complicated, and many LAN development standards (like 
making everyone's games run as slow as the slowest user's) just 
don't work. That's why TEN provides a high level of technical 
support for developers looking to create Internet-sawy, multi¬ 
player versions of their games. 

The bottom line is this: If you want to play on a service that 
has already solved the technical problems, and is ready to 
deliver seamless action nationwide, you want to play on TEN. 













Confirmed Kill 

Publisher: Eidos 


B uilt from the ground up to be the ultimate in online 
flight simulations, Confirmed Kill does not follow the 
traditional formulas of the genre. Instead, the game 
was designed to address the specific needs of the online 
gamer. In researching the game, the developers at Eidos took 
a close look at the online flight sims that existed prior to 
Confirmed Kill, and found considerable room for improvement. 
One area in which they felt there was room for significant 
enhancements was the line speed of the carrier. Though online 
flight sim fans have grown accustomed to unpredictable perfor¬ 
mance standards due to overwhelming demands on the ser¬ 
vices which provide the games, the team that worked on 
Confirmed Kill would not tolerate such standards and therefore 
chose to develop the game exclusively for TEN. With its high 
speed solutions to traditional latency problems, TEN was the 
only available logical choice for the kind of game they wanted 
to make. Another area in which the developers saw a need for 
a change was in leveling the playing field to make it fair for 
players no matter when they joined the game. Finally, the team 
thought it was important to take advantage of todays hottest 
technology including 3D graphics cards and a brand system for 
creating ultra-realistic terrains. 

According to game producer and Gulf War combat pilot 






These three P-38s are prowling for enemies hiding in the valleys. 


Bryan Walker, the decision to go with TEN was an easy one 
because of the service's size and line quality. "With six degrees 
of flight freedom and huge terrains, flight sims are big band¬ 
width hogs," he suggests. Most importantly, using TEN's high¬ 
speed game servers significantly reduces the problem of "warp¬ 
ing." It's this fact that led Eidos to rethink the model on which to 
build Confirmed Kill. With many companies creating games for 
the retail market with an "Internet play" option tacked on, Eidos 
thought it could do better if it focused solely on the online 
aspect, and with the technology offered by TEN, it's created a 
quantum leap for flight sim fans. 

No stranger to the problems of online flight simulations, 
Walker said "there is nothing more aggravating to an A-type 
personality than the problems current online flight sim fans must 
endure because of poor line quality." It was in proclaiming 
these conditions unacceptable for Confirmed Kill that Walker 
and his team chose not only to rethink many of the things they 
were doing in the development of the game, but to search out 
a carrier that could truly handle the demands of its players. It 
was also important, after all, to not only solve the problems of 
current online flight sims, but to take the genre to the next level 
in the process. And, with more than 150 person hours of high- 
end military simulation expertise, the team is certain they have 
achieved this goal in dramatic fashion. 




Glossary 

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7 

out of homes and many can 
accommodate only one caller at a 
time. 

BIT - the smallest discrete amount 
of information a computer can 
process/ a bit is generally 
represented by a one or a zero. 

ISP - Internet Service Provider. This 
is a company that allows you to 


access the Internet, generally via a 
modem. 


a measure of the speed at 
which a modem transfers, in 
thousands of bits per second. A 
28.8 kbps modem is twice as fast 
as a 14.4 kbps modem. 

LATENCY ■ Functionally, latency 
is the time it takes for a signal to 
leave a computer, travel to a 
distant computer, and return. 






























^dog fight than the major campaign- 
/& style gaming. In doing so, each play- 
/jm er can not only jump into the game at 
_' any point on an even playing field 

with others, but can also be assured 
B jjjr that he will not have to search the 

skies k* ^ ours ^ or a ^9^’ an e ^ or ^ 

pMpMppHMnppM attention the game's designer's have 
implemented a unique Briefing Room 
\iV,fli.d I feature which allows tfie player to fully 

In the end, Eidos, in cooperation with TEN, have set out 
to establish a new kind of online flight simulation entertainment, 
not only solving many of the problems of the past but surpass¬ 
ing the expectations of the genre's biggest supporters. 


Another problem familiar to most online flight sim 
fans is that of jumping into a game and immediately 
finding yourself at a huge disadvantage simply for 
being new to the game. This occurs because, tradi¬ 
tionally, players who have been in a particular game 
for perhaps a few hours end up simply lying in wait for 
new players to join the game. Of course, this being the 
case, the new player finds himself a target as soon as 
they log on. Or, perhaps a player signs on to a game 
on the side of a team just shy of complete destruction 
by players involved in a campaign for hours previous 
to the player even getting in the game. According to 
Walker, "It's like being punished for eating dinner while others 
are playing the game." 

In an effort to right these traditional shortcomings of the 
online flight sim formula, Eidos decided to focus more on the 


that identifies, transmission type 
(e.g. ethernet/LocalTalk/ATM/ISDN), 
protocol (e.g., TCP/IP, HTTP, Apple- 
Talk, IPX), and quantity of data. 


MUZZLE — If you are chatting 
with someone on TEN who is super 
annoying, you can "muzzle" them. 
They can keep typing, but you 
won't see what they say. 

OC3 - The equivalent of 84 TIs, 
an OC3 transfers data at 155 
million bits per second. 


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 8 

MR. BANDWIDTH - This TEN 
character tests your Internet 
connection at all times, /^ 

and lets you know 
which zones are 
acceptable for gameplay. 

He also will let you know if your 
computer is up to snuff to play a 
particular type of game, and he'll 
kill applications that negatively 
affect gameplay. 


PACKET LOSS — Sometimes 
networks "lose" packets due to 
noisy transmission lines, or 
hardware problems. Packet loss 
can great increase latency. 


PACKET — Information is sent 
across the Internet in discrete 
quantities, called packets. Each 
packet has header and footer data 


PROFILE - Each user on TEN 
creates a profile, which contains all 

CONTINUED ON PAGE 10 


the Zero battles it out with some Hellcats. 


Confirmed Kilts detailed graph¬ 
ics help to portray the realistic 
look of classic fighters like this 
North American P-5 ID. 

























connection, a T1 goes 200 times as 
fast as a 28.8 modem. 


using the whisper command. 


The areas in which you 
can play on TEN are divided into 
three main zones (more zones may 
eventually go online). You choose 
zones from the same screen where 
you choose arenas. The Abyss will 
give the best results for users on 
the East Coast, Pandemonium will 
work the best for those in the west 
and Valhalla is for those who are 
connecting using a direct 
TEN dial-up. 


CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9 

their stats for various games, and 
may contain a portrait and other 
information about the user. 


T3 — A high speed, direct Internet 
connection. A T3 is made up of 28 TIs. 


TCP/IP — Terminal Connect 
Protocol/Internet Protocol. All the 
information sent over the Internet 
uses the TCP/IP protocol. 


PROTOCOL - networks need 
packets of information to be 
formatted to a certain type to be 
able to understand them; the 
different types are called Protocols. 


WHISPER You can send private 
messages while chatting on TEN, 
by choosing a specific user and the 


W hen the developer's goal is to cre¬ 
ate a 3D shooter with environments 
even more interactive than Duke 
Nukem 3D, it's safe to say that the project is an 
extremely ambitious one. Exclusive to TEN, 

Shadow Warrior is 3D Realms" follow-up title to 
the incredible Duke Nukem 3D and uses the same 
amazing 'Build' engine. Featuring significant tech¬ 
nological innovations, Shadow Warrior allows for 
true 3D building techniques which means that the 
game can actually support a more realistic and 
interactive "room-over-room" architecture. In the 
actual gameplay design Shadow Warrior main¬ 
tains much of the gore focus found in Duke, but the 
development team wanted to make sure it went 
beyond its previous projects. In working to achieve this goal, 
the team dug deeper than simply changing the graphics and 
actually reworked the gameplay model. Designed to take the 
genre to its very limits, Shadow Warrior requires at least a P60 
to play, and this, combined with TEN's superior line quality 
ensures a cutting-edge gaming experience. 

As the perfect demonstration of the game's 3D technolo¬ 
gy, Shadow Warrior offers the ability to commandeer a bull¬ 
dozer and plow through any of the game's walls into the next 
room. It's this kind of "sector" building approach that enabled 
developers the freedom to implement such things as morphing 
environments, 3D tornado effects, and a spectacular amoeba 
sector. The real success from this kind of design, however, 
comes from being able to include complex 3D items available 
for actual use, such as forklifts and cranes. 

What's probably more in the tradition of Duke Nukem 3D 
is the gore factor. Taking this element to a new level in Shadow 
Warrior, 3D Realms was again eager to approach the subject 
with a tongue-in-cheek attitude. It's difficult, after all, to take 
what can only be described as "a vomiting head" very seri¬ 
ously. Put into the game as a way for players to maintain 
involvement in a multiplayer game after taking a fatal blow, 


dead gamers are reduced to nothing more than a head, which 
can do only two things — rotate and spew deadly vomit. 

In the end, 3D Realms has created a game that is differ¬ 
ent enough from its previous work and to possibly even go 
beyond. Of course, Duke will always have its fans, but with 
unique features like being able to drive a tank or use a grenade 
launcher that fires bouncing grenades, 3D Realms and TEN 
hope Shadow Warrior will attract its own fans. Designed for 
high-end PCs, the game won't work on a 486, but with the 
right hardware, the game is an intense online experience. 


Shadow Warrior 


Publisher: 3D Realms 

























Publisher: SSI 


AD&D Dark Sun: 

Crimson Sands 


T he tag-line boasts, "It's not a nice place to visit. 

And you wouldn't live here long." The only prob¬ 
lem is that there are more than one thousand 
people practically living there already. AD&D Dark Sun: 
Crimson Sands is an original and exclusive chapter in 
SSI's AD&D computer game series found only on TEN. 
Wholly unique, Dark Sun: Crimson Sands is the first 
game of its kind to offer a persistant environment acces¬ 
sible to any and all TEN users. What this means is that 
the game literally gets bigger every day with new play 
ers and scenarios. Considering the traditional depth, col¬ 
orful characters, and never-ending adventure found in 
SSI's AD&D games, Dark Sun: Crimson Sands is in many 
ways the perfect opportunity to exploit the technological 
advantages of a service like TEN. After all, if there are 
any real shortcomings to the AD&D fantasy RPGs of the 
past, it's that the worlds always had limits. Creating a game 
such as Dark Sun: Crimson Sands also enables players to expe¬ 
rience a true variety of playing styles, thus making the game that 
much more like real life. With new characters interacting with 
the world each day, Dark Sun: Crimson Sands is constantly rein¬ 
venting itself. Finally what will help make Dark Sun: Crimson 
Sands a true landmark success is TEN's overall commitment to 
the project. 

One of the major goals of TEN has always been to offer 
totally unique games and experiences to the user and Dark Sun: 
Crimson Sands fits the bill like nothing else. An experiment in 
online gaming, Dark Sun: 

Crimson Sands is able to bring 
its apocalyptic world of bizarre 
and deadly creatures to a vir¬ 
tually unlimited amount of users 
because of TEN's exceptional 
technology and service. In pro¬ 
viding a game for fans of tra¬ 


ditional RPGs in which new players may join a world with an 
actual history and future, SSI and TEN have created more than 
just a temporary escape for AD&D fans. They have, in fact, cre¬ 
ated a whole new community of people and a way for them to 
interact with each other in an environment that provides an 
immense amount of adventuring potential. And, as fans of the 
AD&D series would probably have predicted, this kind of 
opportunity has stirred up quite a bit of excitement among those 
familiar with the series. 

With the number of players increasing daily, what is truly 
exciting about Dark Sun: Crimson Sands is not the quantity of 
players, but the different personalities and characteristics each 
person brings to the game. Just as in real life, the mix of differ¬ 
ent personality types is what creates the spark of love, anger, 
competition, and so on. So to will the case be in Dark Sun: 
Crimson Sands when different characters begin to interact with 
each other. Given the carefully crafted structure of this explo¬ 
ration-based adventure, SSI has designed the kind of game that 
will undoubtedly be played differently by everyone involved 
and it's this measure of uncertainty that makes the prospect of 
Dark Sun: Crimson Sands so exhilarating. 

With its extensive reach, not only through the service itself 
but also in its outstanding presence on the World Wide Web, 
TEN is really the only organization able to offer the proper sup¬ 
port for a game like Dark Sun: Crimson Sands. It's exactly this 
kind of extensive RPG that demands a support network of live 
chat arenas and continuous communication channels between 
users to keep the game moving. In providing this kind of struc¬ 
ture players can not only enjoy themselves in the game, but can 
occasionally take a step back from the experience and view it 
in a different light. 

























Duke Nukem 3D 


flMuiai't'i jJiNiaiflisaaiaiigtsi 


Publisher: 3d Realms 


The hottest 3D action game available on the PC. Duke Nukem 
3D picks up where all the others left off with its amazingly inter¬ 
active backgrounds, twisted sense of humor, and high-intensity 
action. Ready for immediate download via the games area on 
the TEN web-site, Duke Nukem 3D Shareware is one way to 
play Duke Online. However, if you own a full retail version of 
the game, you'll be able to take advantage of every explosive 
level with some of the hottest players around. 


Publisher: Accolade 

In Deadlock there is one planet and it's your responsibility to col¬ 
onize and take control of it. With some of the most intricately 
designed 3D graphics and intriguing storyline features, Deadlock 
offers enough substance for even the most expert empire building 
fanatic while still maintaining a very easy learning curve for those 
just getting started. Choose from one of seven races and get start¬ 
ed building the most sound colony you can muster. You're in 
charge and your colonists are depending on you to create the 
perfect environment for them to live and thrive. 


Command & Conquer 

Publisher: Westwood Studios 


One of the greatest war/strategy games of all time, Command 
& Conquer requires fast thinking and a killer instinct. Another of 
TEN's exciting highlights, Command & Conquer is the ultimate in 
multiplayer action. To play Command & Conquer, you'll need to 
have the full retail version of the game on your hard drive as well 
as downloading a special file from the TEN website. While there 
is no question that '--••• "d: •" • .'I 

Command & V;iflfll 

Conquer is one of ■jj zSP qWWEyffif . , 
the most rewarding BRf . f ? W lL V • 
gomes around, it 
only gets better in 

multiplayer action. ^ 


Publisher: Blizzard 


The original struggle between Ores and Humans, Warcraft set 
the standard for strategy games as we know them today. 
Featuring more than two dozen campaigns as well as addi¬ 
tional custom scenarios, this game has exactly the kind of lifes¬ 
pan and playability to make it an outstanding online gaming 
experience. To play Warcraft on TEN you need only download 
a special version from the TEN website. Also, with Warcraft's 
two-player limit, this is truly the perfect game for those just get¬ 
ting started in multiplayer gaming. 


Build detailed empires in this intriguing strategy gem. 




£ v :b: \ 

;:j _ > £, " ’ y 




|kh»PH7 


12 

































if you're interested in taking the game to its limits. Panzer 
General may not be as fast paced as QUAKE, but the game is 
every bit as intense. 

Big Red Racing 

Publisher: Eidos 

When it comes to high-speed racing action online, there is no 
finer example than Big Red Racing from Eidos Interactive. 
Choosing from a selection of 24 tracks and a wide variety of 
vehicles, such as dumptrucks, backhoes, or even hover crafts, 
Big Red Racing is far from the traditional lap around the track. 
Supporting up to five players per race, the multiplayer aspect of 
this fast-paced racing game can simply not be overestimated. 
Demonstrating TEN's ability to offer a variety of gaming genres, 
Big Red Racing is an extremely nice way to round out an 
already exciting line-up. 




Race a variety of vehicles in Eidos' Big Red Racing 


Necrodome Shareware 


Publisher: SSI 

Racing isn't what it used to be. In fact, all-out warfare isn't even 
what it used to be in SSI's Necrodome. The future's newest 
bloodsport comes to the PC in a big way on TEN. Necrodome 
from SSI is a high-impact 3D shooting game with great multi¬ 
player potential. Download the latest version from The Beta 
Zone as well as the DirectX 2 drivers necessary to bury your¬ 
self in the action. Featuring true cooperative play — allowing 
one player to drive the car and another to take care of the 
shooting, Necrodome is packed-to-the-gills with competitive 
"racing" action. 

Panzer General Online 

Publisher: SSI 


Considered by many to be one of the best war games of all 
time, Panzer General Online, makes it exclusive debut on 
TEN. Test your skills against some of the greatest strategic minds 
online with this TEN- 
only version of SSI's 
masterpiece. To play 
Panzer Gen-eral 
Online, you need 
DirectX 2 drivers 

which you can down¬ 
load from TEN. You 
can also download a 
full instruction manual 




































DeathStoat 

DeathStoat, (aka Chris Gorsky) is a Civil Engineering student at 
the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He enjoys the 
town's great sports heritage and its thriving music scene, but he 
also enjoys playing PC games and talking to people about his 
passion for games and technology. He likes to take the time after 
class to log on to TEN. Once he's on, he heads straight to his 
favorite chat room in the Command & Conquer arena. He's 
made some good friends since he joined TEN, and he's always 
interested in meeting new people there. 

Today when he logs on he immediately recognizes two 
names in the chat room. Both in the Central Time Zone, they 
keep pretty similar hours to Chris. After chatting with his two 


in the Life of 


friends about past matches of C&C, the three of them decide 
it's time to play. Having played together before they know each 
others' strategies pretly well and so the competition is especial¬ 
ly satisfying. An hour passes quickly and Chris realizes it's time 
to get ready for a night on the town, and so he ends his game, 
says good-bye and disconnects knowing that he'll probably 
find his two friends there again tomorrow. 

NarVack 

NarVack (aka Jim Gstinsic) works as an administrative assistant 
for a lobbiest firm in Washington, D.C. The job's OK and 
there's plenty to learn, but on the pressure and monotony of the 
work can get him down. Nothing beats the stress like a lunch- 
hour spent killing everyone who crosses his path in Duke 
Nukem 3D. Since he's still technically at work, he can't spend 
a lot of time online trying to find other people willing to play so 
he appreciates that TEN always has people logged-on. 

On an especially tedious day, Jim spent the morning filing 
and by the time lunchtime roles around he's ready for some kind 


An Hour 































Three TEN Users 


of escape. As soon as the boss is gone to his daily power lunch, 
he's logged on and heading straight to the Duke Nukem 3D 
arena. As he usual, there are several people already playing 
and Jim has his choice of games to join. After quickly checking 
the rankings board to see how good the players in each game 
are, he picks the game with the best players on the site. Jim, as 
he'll humbly tell you, rocks at Duke Nukem 3D is always anxious 
to up his stats. He plays a particularly ferocious game, even 
defeating the highest ranked players, but soon realizes it's time 
to get back to work. Recharged by the idea that he has dra¬ 
matically improved his own ranking, he disconnects and goes 
back to filing with a smile on his face (and killing on his mind). 


LordElren 


LordElren (aka Raymond Rowe) got married a little more than a 
year ago and moved to Miami to practice law. He doesn't 
know many people in town and both he and his wife work long 
hours. No problem, except he's a night person and his wife, a 
marine biologist, isn't. Raymond was spending most nights 
watching cable alone or playing his PlayStation till he decided 
to try TEN on a PC his in-laws gave him for a wedding gift. 

On this particular night Phil and his wife go to bed at 
around 11, but by 1 1:30 he's slipping out of bed and head¬ 
ing to the den to see what's going on at TEN. He used to be 
surprised that there was so much activity late at night, but he's 
already come to count on that fact. Unlike some players on 
TEN, he doesn't have a favorite game he likes to play every 


time. Instead, he checks out what's going 
on all over the site before making a 
choice. He likes the 1 8+ rule, because 
at 28 he's not really interested in talking 
about Beavis and Butthead. 

After chatting with someone from San 
Francisco, he accepts an invitation to play 
SSI's Necrodome. Having heard lots of 
great things about the game, he's excited to 
try it out. After downloading the shareware 
version directly from TEN, he ends up hav^ 
ing a great time playing. At about 1:30 
he's really starting to get the hang of the 
game, but he's got court tomorrow, so he 
decides it's time for bed. As he's shutting 
down he thinks that he'll have to log on 
tomorrow for some more Necrodome. 


Log 

IF YON UAVF INTI 


On To TEN 


IF YOU HAVE INTERNET ACCESS 

If you already have access to the World Wide Web, 
getting logged on to TEN is as easy as visiting the 
TEN Web site at www.ten.net. Once you're logged 
on to the web site simply follow the easy instructions 
for downloading the official TEN software. The whole 
process takes only a few minutes, but keep in mind 
you will need a valid credit card to get signed up. 
Once you've downloaded the software and 
established your password you'll be asked if you 
would like to use your own Internet connection or 
one of TEN'S local dial-up numbers. Choose one and 
you are ready to go. 

WHAT IF I DON'T HAVE ACCESS TO THE WEB? 

If you don't have access to the Internet, don't worry 
because it's not necessary to use TEN. If you can't 
download the software from TEN'S Web site there 
are two other very easy ways to get it. In fact, you 
already have the necessary software if you own the 
full retail versions of Accolade's Deadlock or 3D 
Realms's Duke Nukem 3D. If so, simply choose the 
TEN option built in to the game and follow the 
simple instructions for getting signed up. Also 
remember that the full TEN software is included on 
the disc that came with this issue. If you do not have 
the full retail version of one of these games you can 
still get a free copy of the software by simply calling 
(415) 778-3733. 
























Want to PjLAY . 

the HOTTEST .exclusive titles- ONLINE? 
| With THOUSANDS of ether people? 
At'the SAME time? 





rating 


Next Generation gamers guide 


Every new "next-generation" game, rated for your perusal 


■■IB he following list is a round-up of all ZlM- 


£ the final review scores given to next 

Jumping Flash! 2 

Sony 

★★★★ 

Tekken 

Namco 

kkkk 

generation console games. 

Titles 


Acclaim 

★ 

Tekken 2 

Namco 

kkkkk 

with the suffix (Japan) are not available in the 

Kileak The DNA imperative SME 

kkk 

TempestX 

High Voltage Software 

kkkk 

U.S. Happy hunting... 


Kileak The Blood 2 

SME 

★★ 

Tobol No. 1 

Sony CE 

kkkk 

Title 

Publisher 

NG Rating 

Killing Time 

Naxat Soft 

k 

Tokyo Highway Battle 

Jaleco 

★★★ 




King’s Field 

Asciiware 

★★★★ 

Top Gun 

Spectrum Holobyte 

kk 

Nintendo 64 



Krazy Ivan 

Psygnosis 

kkk 

Total Eclipse Turbo 

Crystal Dynamics 

kk 

Super Mario 64 

Nintendo 

kkkkk 

Loaded 

Interplay 

kkkk 

Toukon Retsuden (Japan) 

Tomy 

★★★★ 

Pilot Wings 

Nintendo 

★ ★★★★ 

Madden ’97 

EA Sport 

kkkk 

Twisted Metal 

SIE 

kkkk 




Metal Jacket (Japan) 

Solan 

k 

Viewpoint 

Electronic Arts 

k 

PlayStation 



Mobile Suit Gundam (Japan) Bandai 

kk 

Warhawk 

Sony Interactive 

kkkk 

Adidas Power Soccer 

Psygnosis 

★ ★★ 

Mortal Kombat 3 

Publisher 

kkk 

Wipeout 

Psygnosis 

kkkkk 

Agile Warrior 

Virgin 

★ ★ 

Motor Toon GP (Japan) 

SCE 

kk 

Worms 

Ocean of America 

kkkk 

Alien Trilogy 

Acclaim 

★★★★ 

Namco Museum vol. 1 

Namco 

kkkk 

WWF Wrestlemania 

Acclaim 

kkkk 

A-Train 

SCE 

kkk 

Namco Museum vol. 2 

Namco 

★★ 

X-Com: UFO Defense 

Microprose 

★★★★★ 

Aquanaut's Holiday (Japan) ArtDink 

kkkk 

NASCAR Racing 

Sierra 

★★ 

Zero Divide 

Zoom 

kkk 

Arc The Lad (Japan) 

SCE 

kkkk 

NBA Jam Tournament Ed' 

Acclaim 

kkkk 




Battle Arena Toshinden 

SCE 

kkkk 

NBA Live ’96 

Electronic Arts 

kkkk 

Saturn 



Battle Arena Toshinden 2 

SCE 

★ ★★★ 

NBA Shoot Out 

Sony Interactive 

kkk 

Alien Trilogy 

Acclaim 

kkkk 

Beyond the Beyond 

SCE 

★★ 

NCAA Gamebraker 

Sony Interactive 

★★★★ 

Alone in the Dark 

T*HQ 

kkk 

Black Dawn 

Virgin 

★ ★★★ 

NFL Gameday 

Sony Interactive 

★★★★★ 

Astal 

Sega 

★★★ 

Blood Omen: Legacy ofKain Activision 

★ ★★★ 

NHL Face Off 

Sony Interactive 

★★★★★ 

Battle Arena Tosh’ Remix 

Sega 

★★★ 

Bogey Dead 6 

Sony 

★★★ 

Olympic Soccer 

U.S. Gold 

kkk 

Battle Monster (Japan) 

Naxat Soft 

kk 

Bottom of the Ninth 

Konami 

kkkk 

Perfect Weapon 

ASC Games 

★★ 

Blackfire 

Sega 

kkk 

Boxer’s Road (Japan) 

New Corp 

kkk 

PGA Tour Invitational '96 

Electronic Arts 

■kirk 

Bug! 

Sega 

★★★ 

Cosmic Race (Japan) 

Neorex 

★ 

Philosoma 

SCE 

kk 

Clockwork Knight 

Sega 

kkk 

Crash Bandicoot 

SCE 

★★★ 

Po’ed 

Accolade 

kkkk 

Clockwork Knight 2 (Japan)Sega 

kkk 

Crime Crackers (Japan) 

Sony Entertainment 

kk 

Power Serve 3-D Tennis 

Ocean 

kkk 

Congo the Movie 

Sega 

kk 

Criticom 

VicTokai 

kk 

Power Baseball (Japan) 

Konami 

k 

Cyberspeed 

Mindscape 

kkk 

Cyberia 

Interplay 

kkk 

Project: Homed Owl 

Sony 

kkk 

D 

Acclaim 

kkk 

Cyberspeed 

Mindscape 

★ ★★ 

Project Overkill 

Konami 

kkkk 

Dark Legends (Japan) 

Data East 

kk 

Cyber Sled 

Namco 

★ ★ 

Raiden 

Seibu 

kk 

Daytona USA 

Sega 

kkkk 

Cyber War (Japan) 

Coco Nuts 

★ ★ 

Rayman 

UbiSoft 

kkkk 

Deadalus (Japan) 

Sega 

kkk 

Defcom 5 

Data East 

kkkk 

Return Fire 

Time Warner InL 

★★★★ 

Decadent 

Sega 

kkkk 

Dark Stalkers 

Capcom 

★★★ 

Resident Evil 

Capcom 

kkkkk 

Double Switch 

Digital Pictures 

kk 

Deception 

Tecmo 

kkk 

Ridge Racer 

Namco 

kkkk 

Earthworm Jim 2 

Playmates 

kkk 

Descent 

Interplay 

★ ★★★ 

Ridge Racer Revolution 

Namco 

kk 

FIFA Soccer 

Electronic Arts 

★★★★★ 

Destruction Derby 

Psygnosis 

★ ★★★ 

Road Rash 

Electronic Arts 

kkk 

Fighting Vipers 

Sega 

★★★★★ 

Disruptor 

Universal Interactive 

★ ★★★ 

Robo Pit 

T-HQ 

kkk 

F-l Live 

Sega 

kkkk 

Die Hard Trilogy 

Fox Interactive 

kkkk 

Romance of the 3 King" IV Koei 

★ ★★ 

Frank Thomas Baseball 

Acclaim 

kkk 

Doom 

Williams 

★★★★ 

Soviet Strike 

Electronic Arts 

kkkk 

Galactic Attack 

Acclaim 

★★★ 

Dragon Ball Z (Japan) 

Bandai 

★★ 

Shellshock 

U.S. Gold 

kkkk 

Gekkamugenton-ToricoQapan) Sega-Japan 

kkkk 

Fade to Black 

Electronic Arts 

kkkk 

Shockwave Assault 

Electronic Arts 

★★ 

Ghen War 

Sega 

kkk 

Final Doom 

Williams 

kkk 

Sidewinder 

Asmic 

kkk 

Golden Axe: The Duel 

Sega 

kkk 

Formula 1 

Psygnosis 

★ ★★★★ 

Silveriode 

VicTokai 

kkkk 

Gotha (|apan) 

Sega 

kkk 

Gex 

Crystal Dynamics 

kkk 

SimCity 2000 

Maxis 

kkk 

Guardi an Heroes (Japan) 

Sega 

kkk 

Goal Storm 

Konami 

★★★★ 

Slam 'n’Jam 

Crystal Dynamics 

kkk 

Hang-On GP ’95 

Sega 

kkk 

Gridrunner 

Virgin 

★★★ 

Space Griffon 

Atlus 

kk 

Hi-Octane 

EA 

kk 

Gunner’s Heaven (Japan) 

MediaVision 

kkkk 

Space Hulk 

Electronic Arts 

★★★ 

High Velocity 

Adus 

kkk 

Gunship 

Microprose 

★ ★ 

Spot Goes to Hollywood 

Virgin Interactive 

k 

Iron Storm 

Working Designs 

kkkk 

Hardball 5 

Accolade 

kk 

Star Gladiator 

Capcom 

kkk 

Johnny Bazookatone 

US Gold 

kkk 

In the Zone 

Konami 

★ ★★ 

StarWinder 

Mindscape 

kkk 

Krazy Ivan 

Sega 

kk 

Iron & Blood 

Acclaim 

kk 

Steel Harbinger 

Mindscape 

★★★ 

Last Gladiators (Japan) 

Kaze Co 

kkkk 

Jumping Flash! 

SCE 

kkkkk 

Street Racer 

UBISoft 

kkkk 

Legend of Oasis 

Sega 

kkkk 


247 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 










Incoming! Incoming! Missile Alert! Battleship is now on 
CD-ROM. 2 killer games in 1: Classic and Ultimate. This 
ain't pegs and plastic, it's fully loaded with intense, 
hi-resolution 3-D graphics, enhanced 16-bit audio effects J 
and nerve-wracking real time battle. You attack while 
you're being attacked! Fight above and below the 
water in over 2000*square_miles of ocean. You /jMk 
can even battle for naval supremacy around the [iPQl 
globe on the Internet. But hey, if you can't stand 
the heat, get out of the ocean. 


,*>U00fT/ 


www.hasbro.com WIN 95 

© 1996 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved 


HASBRO 

Interactive 












rating 


Title 

Publisher 

NG Ratmg 

Loaded 

Interplay 

kkk 

Mansion of Hidden Souls 

Sega 

kkk 

Mortal Kombat II 

Acclaim 

★★★ 

Myst 

SunSoft 

★★★ 

NHL All-Star Hockey ’96 

Sega 

kk 

NHL Powerplay ’96 

Virgin Interactive 

★★★★★ 

Night Warriors 

Capcom 

kkk 

Nights 

Sega 

kkkkk 

Off-World Interceptor 

Crystal Dynamics 

★ ★★ 

Panzer Dragoon 

Sega 

★★★★ 

Panzer Dragoon II Zwei 

Sega 

kkkk 

Pebble Beach Golf Links 

Sega 

•kirk 

Riglord Saga (japan) 

Sega 

kkk 

Robo-Pit 

Kokopelli 

kkk 

Quarterback Attack 

Digital Pictures 

kkk 

Quarterback Cub ’97 

Acclaim 

kkk 

Saturn Bomberman 

Hudson (Japan) 

kkkk 

Sega Rally Championship 

Sega 

kkkkk 

Shellshock 

U.S. Gold 

kkk 

Shinobi Legions 

Sega 

★★★ 

Shining Force 

Working Designs 

kkk 


Title 

Publisher 

NG Ratng 

Shining Wisdom 

Working Designs 

kkk 

SimCity 

Maxis 

kkk 

Skeleton Warriors 

Playmates 

kkk 

SteamGear Mash 

Takara (japan) 

★★ 

Street Fighter.The MoWe 

Acclaim 

kkk 

Street Fighter: Alpha 2 

Capcom 

★★★★ 

Striker 

Acclaim 

★ 

Tama (japan) 

Tengen 

★★ 

Tetris Plus 

Jaleco 

kkk 

Theme Pork 

Electronic Arts 

kkk 

3D Baseball 

Crystal Dynamics 

kkk 

Three Dirty Dwarves 

Sega 

kkk 

ThunderStrike 2 

US Gold 

kkkk 

True Pinball 

Ocean 

★ ★★ 

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 Williams 

★ ★★ 

Virtua Cop 

Sega 

★ ★★★ 

Virtua Fighter 

Sega 

★★★★ 

Virtua Fighter Kids 

Sega 

kkkk 

Virtua Fighter Remix 

Sega 

kkkkk 

Virtua Fighter 2 

Sega 

★★★★★ 

Virtua Racing 

Time Warner 

★★★ 


TmjE _Publisher_NGRatmg 


Virtual Hydlide 

Atlus 

kk 

Virtual Open Tennis 

Acclaim 

kkk 

Virtual Volleyball (japan) 

Imagineer 

k 

Wicked 18 

VicTokai 

kkk 

Wing Arms 

Sega 

kkk 

Wipeout 

Sega 

kkkk 

World Cup Golf: Pro’ Edition US Gold 

★★★ 

Worfd Series Baseball 

Sega 

kkkk 

World Series Baseball II 

Sega (Japan) 

kkkkk 

Worldwide Soccer 

Sega 

kkk 

Worms 

Ocean of America 

kkkk 

X-Men: Child’ of the Atom 

Capcom 

kkk 

For your information 

Here's what the ratings signify: 


Revolutionary 


★ ★★★ Excellent 


kkk Good 

★ ★ Average 

★ Bad 





© 1996 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved 




(rrI ii & 1 ^ 


It's time to live out all your power-mad dreams of world 
domination. See and experience the battle, work your twisted 
strategy against countless armies (and the weather). Set up 
fortresses and headquarters as you march mercilessly across 
the continents towards total victory. Who says war is hell? 


www.hasbro.com 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 






























IT SEEMS EVERY AD 
TRIES TO SELL YOU 
A 6AME WITH MORE 






GUTS, 

more butts, 

MORE SMUT, 

AND MORE NUTS 





HOW ABOUT MORE FUN? 

PRESENTING NAMCO MUSEUM™ VOLUME 2 


Lose the hype. Enjoy games that are hip. 
Namco Museum Volume 2™ is the second 
release from our classic arcade anthology. 
Six more arcade hits blast out of the past to 
give you flashbacks of fun. Super Pac-Man, 



Xevious, Dragon Buster, Gaplus, Grobda 
and Mappy are all included on one groovy 
CD - each game an exact translation from 
the original arcade coin-op. Hey, who 
said you can't have fun at the Museum? 




Namco Museum Uolume 2’E© 19951996 Namco ltd. fill rights reserued PlayStation and the PlayStation logo are trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment, the ratings icon is a trademark of the Interacts Oigital Software Association 









































NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


252 


Madden ’97 PlayStation Fighting Vipers Saturn The Pandora Directive PC Disruptor PlayStation 
Street Fighter Alpha 2 Saturn Formula 1 PlayStation World Series Baseball Saturn Final Doom Playstation 



We play the games, and then we review them for you 


252 

PlayStation 

262 

Saturn 

266 

PC 

272 

Arcade 

272 

Nintendo 64 

272 

3D0 

272 

Genesis 

272 

Virtual Boy 

272 

Neo Geo 

272 

Super NES 



ach month, come rain 
or shine, the 
unstoppable Nwxt 
Generation team of diehard 
gamers reviews and rates the 
month’s new game releases. 
Our opinion as to each game’s 
merits is expounded on in the 
text, but for a rough guide to a 
game’s worth (or lack of it) 
refer the following ratings. 

★★★★★ Revolutionary 

Brilliantly conceived and 
flawlessly executed; a new 
high-water mark. 


★ ★★★ Excellent 

A high-quality and inventive 
new game. Either a step 
forward for an existing genre, 
or a successful attempt at 
creating a new one. 


★★★ Good 

A solid and competitive 
example of an established 
game style. 


★★ Average 

Perhaps competent; certainly 
uninspired. 


★ Bad 

Crucially flawed in design or 
application. 


2Cti y 

It© 2 * n 

ar loc/ioo) 1 

lla 

r 11 take good 
of you. . . 

mi 

care 


With its dark storyline and strangely disturbing goals, Deception is one 
of the more noteworthy titles of the season, despite some flaws 


PlayStation 


Deception 

Publisher: Tecmo 
Developer: Tecmo 

This first-person, 3D graphic 
adventure starts with a doozy of a 
premise: make the player the bad 
guy. As the Master of the Castle 
of the Damned, the player 
watches for adventurers entering 
the castle, then tracks them, 
traps them, and kills them, all 
with the eventual goal of 
resurrecting Satan. No lie. 

A little backstory may help: 
the player’s character is the first¬ 
born prince of a peaceful kingdom. 
The younger prince murdered the 
king and framed the player. While 
waiting to be burned at the stake, 
the player becomes disgusted by 
the treachery of his own family 
and the fickleness of the people 
and calls out for help from God or 
the Devil. Take a guess who 
answers. Eventually, of course, 
things take a more altruistic turn, 
and the player does make good 
triumph over evil. 

Until then however, Deception 
is one of the strangest and 
subtlely disturbing games we’ve 
ever played. When your only 
options after trapping a hapless 
mortal are “Strip his soul for 
magic,” “Kill him for gold,” or 
“Save his body for building 
monsters," you know you’re not 
in Kansas anymore. The scene 
with the young daughter, forlornly 
calling out the window to her 
adventurer parents, “Mommy, 
Daddy, why don’t you come 
home?” induced more than a few 
stomach knots. 

On the other hand, you can’t 
attack victims directly, only lure 
them into traps, and while more 
strategically interesting than a 
3D shooter, it’s oddly passive. 

The pace is slow, the story takes 
a while to get rolling, and you can 
only save one game at a time. 

Despite these faults 
however, there’s no denying 
that with its polygon-modeled 
and texture-mapped 
environment and characters, 
Deception looks great. It offers 
hours of playtime, and, in 
execution if not structure, it’s 
unlike anything you’ve ever 
played before. For a game that 


offers a touch of the dark side, 
it’s more than worth a look. 

Rating: ★★★ 

Disruptor 

Publisher: Universal Interactive 
Developer: Insomniac Games 

As Universal's second title, 

(Crash Bandicoot was Universal’s 
before it sold to Sony) Disruptor 
brings high-quality production to 
the tried-and-true Doom formula. 

As a space marine, the player 
is thrown into a variety of 
futuristic environments. Unlike 
the repetitive brick tunnels of 
Doom, each of the thirteen levels 
has its own distinctive look, from 
an icy Antarctic base to a surreal 
dream sequence with bizarre 
aliens. While the gameplay is 
extremely similar to most first- 
person shooters, Disruptor 
implements “Psionic” weapons, 
which are basically sci-fi spells. 
The strategy involves more 
tactical gunplay and resourceful 
Psionic use, with less find-the-key 
objectives. And gameplay 
changes as the levels grow 
progressively tougher; particularly 
hair-raising is the escape from a 
time-bombed reactor. 

Designed exclusively for the 
PlayStation, the game takes 
advantage of the hardware’s 
polygon and lighting capabilities. 
The levels implement texture-rich, 
polygonal architecture, 
distinguishing Disruptor as the 
first true 3D first-person shooter 
for the PlayStation. Players 


experience a new feeling of depth 
in moving through the levels, and 
the lighting and reflections seen 
in Psionic effects enhance this 
sense of realism. But the sprite- 
based enemies, while well-drawn 
and scaled decently, bring back a 
bit of the 2D feel. 

The audio is impressive. Like 
Magic Carpets interactive score, 
the game introduces intense 
music during battle, and lighter 
tracks during non-combative 
exploration. The sound effects are 
all studio quality, with excellent 
weaponry bursts and dying cries. 



Disruptor 1 s Psionic weapons add 
to the standard shooting action 


Well-balanced, with good 
control, nice graphics, on-the-fly 
strategy, secret areas, and good 
sound, Disruptor gives the player 
everything new that it can within 
a genre saturated with 
mediocrity. For those who have 
finished Alien Trilogy, here lies 
your next challenge. 

Rating: ★★★★ 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 


































We're sure Chun-Li would love 
to show you a few of her 
dance moves, but step lively. 
She's been known to step on a 
few toes. And heads. With 
Street Fighter Alpha 2 for 
your Super NES®, maybe you 
can teach her a thing or two. 
You can even bust out your 
favorite Super Move or 
Custom Combo, just like in the 
hit arcade game. But don't 
even think about trying that 
Macarena thing. We heard 
she hates that. 








NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


254 


rating playstation 


PlayStation 

STRIKE FOUR 

Soviet Strike 

Publisher: Electronic Arts 
Developer: EA Studios 

EA Studios has finally shipped a PlayStation title that isn’t a retouched 3D0 game, and Soviet 
Strike delivers real 32-bit firepower while staying true to its roots. As the title suggests, this 
newest Strike game sends chopper pilots on covert missions into unstable Soviet regions. With 
two overhead views — the traditional Strike camera and a new, locked-on chase view — the 
player explores five large terrains, with between 5 and 10 different mission objectives per terrain 

map. The objectives are familiar yet widely 
varied, including knocking out power 
plants, rescuing POWs, and destroying 
weapon installations. Retaining the 
“thinking man’s shooter” design, resource 
management is a big part of this game, as 
is the surgical precision required to 
dismantle enemy forces. 

A real-time, living battlefield enhances 
the urgency of the missions and the player’s 
involvement. In the first level, for example, 
your co-pilot must be rescued to avoid a 
firing squad. If the player is too late 
reaching the prison compound, the co-pilot 
is actually seen escorted from his cell and 
executed against the wall. Even better 
though, with sharp-shooting, you can save 
him at the last minute. 

While the animation and explosions are 
average, the game makes a giant leap 
forward in terms of the environment. The 
rendered, nearly photo-realistic topography 
and fully polygon-modeled buildings and vehicles form an impressive 3D landscape. Also worth 
mentioning are the stylish FMV clips, which for once are well-acted and not overly intrusive. The 
audio is also exemplary, with excellent wartime 
sound effects, battle music, and some well-written 
dialogue that includes humorous shouts 
from Soviet troops, and all with practically 
no load time. 

Of course, minor flaws do exist: the heads-up 
display smacks of 16-bit era graphics, but the 
worst problem is the limited view of the terrain. 

Players will frequently have to stop and switch to 
the map to find things; although this limited view 
has been a part of the Strike series since day one. 

However, this really is quibbling. By no means 
easy, and by no means a short game, the Strike 
series has made the leap to 32-bit with a 
thoughtfulness and style that should be considered 

Your co-pilot is being held hostage here. 

Save him or watch him face the firing squad 


a reference point for all future 32-bit upgrades. 

Rating: ★★★★ 




Final Doom 

Publisher: Williams 
Developer: Williams/id 

Hands down, the original Doom 
for PlayStation was the best 
version available for home 
consoles — smooth, dead-on 
control, lots of great lighting 
effects, the complete Doom plus 
Doom II on one disk, and a 
cracking surround-sound mix. It 
was a blast. 

Final Doom also includes 
two complete games: Final 
Doom from the designers at id, 
and the TNT levels, composed of 


the best fan-designed Doom 
WADs (some of which are much, 
much nastier than anything id 
came up with). But there’s 
trouble in paradise, or Hell, as 
the case may be: Final Doom is 
jerky, with a noticeably low 
frame rate, imprecise control, 
and too many spots where 
seams show in the textures. In a 
side-by-side comparison, Final 
Doom didn’t even come close to 
the quality of the original. Why 
this happened isn’t exactly 
clear: granted, the version 
supplied by Williams wasn’t a 


shrink-wrapped copy, just a final 
beta on gold disk. This is, 
however, the format most 
reviewable material is supplied 
on, and it was clearly labeled as 
final and reviewable. Certainly 
there can’t be enough of a 
difference between a master CD 
and the box copy to make up for 
the deficiencies. At press time, 
Williams is hip-deep in 
development of Doom 64 for 
Nintendo 64 — which, 
incidentally, looks incredible — 
so perhaps Final Doom simply 
fell by the development wayside. 



More of the same, yet less than 
before: Williams’s Final Doom 


In any case, Final Doom is 
far from unplayable. In fact, it 
has much the same action you’d 
expect from Doom and a severe 
challenge even for Doom 
veterans. Had the original 
PlayStation Doom not been so 
perfect, we might not have been 
as critical of Final Doom. But it 
was, and we are. 

Rating: ★★★ 

Formula 1 

Publisher: Psygnosis 
Developer: Bizarre Creations 

Despite the plethora of racing 
games available on next-gen 
systems, there has yet to be a 
title that truly satisfies the 
hardcore race fan on all levels. 
With its exquisite graphics, wide 
range of challenges, and startling 
amount of depth, Formula 1 is the 
game that changes everything. 

The graphics in Formula 1 
practically jump out at you. Few 
titles have made the leap 
expected from the second 
generation of PlayStation games, 
but FI proves that there is plenty 
of potential in the machine to be 
exploited. From the exquisitely 
rendered cars, to the detailed 
track and its surroundings, 
Formula 1 displays state-of-the- 
art videogame graphics that 
perfectly convey the atmosphere 



Formula 1: the answer to every 
PSX racing fan’s prayers 


of the race environment. 

Accompanying the superb 
graphics is gameplay that ranks 
near simulation quality. All 17 
tracks from the actual Formula 1 
season have been recreated to 
serve as the proving ground for 
races featuring 24 competitors. 
An Arcade mode enables novice 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 












Dozens of cl< 


and action shots 


The ultimate strategy game 


Over 40 missions on two CD-ROMs 


SEGA SATURN 


PlayStation 


Also available on DOS, Windows 7 , Windows 


95 & Macintosh* CD-ROM. 


Command & Conquer is o trademark of \Afestwood Studios, Inc. ©. 19°5, 1996' WBStWOod Studros* Inc. All rvjhts reserved. Sony PlayStation and the PlayStation logo are trademarks of 
Sega Saturn and the Sega Saturn logo are trademarks of Sega Enterprises, ltd. Windows and Windows 95 are registered trademarks of Microso" Corporation. Macintosh is a register; 


>ny Computer Entertainment, Inc. 


FOR SEGA SATURN'” AND SONY PLAYSTATION 


VV 


S- T U 


DOMINATION 
IN A BOX 






NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


256 


rating playstation 


racers to jump right in and begin 
testing their driving skills, but 
after a few races most gamers 
will probably opt for the 
significantly more difficult Grand 
Prix mode, with its more accurate 
racing dynamics. There’s even an 
option in Grand Prix mode that 
can set the length of each race to 
the actual number of laps of the 
real-life racing event. Considering 
the challenge someone would 
face racing 17 full-length Formula 
1 courses on the hardest setting 
in Grand Prix mode, the word 
“depth” hardly seems to do the 
game justice. 

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Iron & Blood: 

Warriors of RavenLoft 

Publisher: Acclaim 
Developer: Take 2 Interactive 

Originally planned for M2, Iron & 
Blood’s noble concept of taking 
licensed AD&D fantasy characters 
and setting them in a 3D fighting 
environment is ultimately flawed 
— the fighting feels secondary to 
the license. 

The game plays in two 
modes: Head-to-Head and 
Campaign. In the traditional 
Head-To-Head mode, players 
choose from 16 fighters who 
range from a one-armed dwarf to 
a classic hero with a massive 
sword. The real AD&D influence 
shows up in the Campaign mode, 
where players must select a 
team of fighters, either good or 
evil, and launch into a long 
tournament where the prizes 
include magic artifacts (that 
work as power-ups), and the 
chance to add new characters to 
your party. Also you need to 
alternate characters between 
matches to give the character 
who just fought time to heal. 

Graphically, the polygonal, 
Gouraud-shaded characters are 


well-detailed and smoothly 
animated. The gameplay is fast, 
but very reminiscent of 
Toshinden. The only inventive 
feature is an energy-charged 
barrier that encircles the ring, 
damaging players who make 
contact with it and making ring- 
outs impossible. The combos are 
limited, the special moves are 
cliched, and without any 
noticeable enhancements brought 
to the actual fighting, the action 
feels passe. The digitized speech 
and special effects are average, 
and the techno soundtrack seems 
laughably anachronistic against 
the medieval visuals. 

While Take 2 should be 
applauded for trying something 
different with a fantasy license, 
the fighting, unlike Tobal No. 1, 
just doesn’t innovate at all. 
Rating: ★★ 

Madden ’97 

Publisher: EA Sports 
Developer: Visual Concepts 

No sports series can even come 
close to the success of EA’s 
Madden Football, and when last 
year’s version got canned, it 
shocked and disappointed 
thousands of fans. So what has 
EA done in two years to win back 
the hearts of once-loyal Madden 
fans? Simple: make the best 
Madden ever. 

Madden has always been 
about a great two-player game 
with all the real players, plays, 
stats, and options. Madden '97 
has stuck to that basic formula, 
but upped the ante on every 
count. The graphics are crystal 
clear with smooth animation and 
detailed uniforms for each NFL 
team. The stats are exhaustive 
and presented in an easy-to-use 
and classy manner. The plays are 
usual Madden fare with a few 
updates and the list of options 



Iron & Blood’s detailed characters are cut from TSR’s Advanced Dungeons & 
Dragons mold. Too bad the fighting isn’t any more exciting than rolling dice 



just keeps growing. As for the 
gameplay, the two-player game is 
better than ever. Tight control, 
top speed, and great arcade-style 
gameplay are sure to make the 
Sunday mornings before football 
that much more enjoyable. 

What makes the two-player 
game so inspiring is the 
impeccable control and skill 
required. As quarterback you 
have to spot an open receiver and 
decide whether a bullet or lob is 
best, then switch to the wide 
receiver where you have to 
position and time yourself to 
make the catch. On the other 
side of the ball, you make a mad 
rush for the QB then as the pass 
is released switch to a DB and try 
to break up the pass with a 
perfectly timed jump or hit. Get 
too rough, and the flag flies for a 
little pass interference. 

Unfortunately, Madden does 
have a flaw or two, the biggest 
being the computer Al — once 
again, one play always fools it. 
Madden has always had plays 
like these, and it’s always ruined 
the one-player game. That play 
alone dropped the score on 
Madden ’97 one full star, 
because once you figure out what 
it is (and no, we won’t tell you), 
there’s no challenge left. And 
when there’s no challenge, 
there’s no more reason to play 
through a season. However, the 
two-player mode is still good 
enough to rank Madden as one of 
the best football titles available. 
Rating: ★★★★ 

Namco’s Museum 
Volume 2 

Publisher: Namco 
Developer: Namco 

Unlike Namco’s first Museum 
collection, Volume 2just doesn’t 
provide enough good classics. 
With a total of six games, only 
Super Pac-Man (not available in 
the Japanese version) and 
shooters Gaplus and Xevious, are 
really worth spending time with. 
The other three are obscure to 
say the least — Mappy, Grobda, 
and Dragon Buster — all are 
examples of game genres that 
have evolved way beyond these 
originals, and with good reason. 


Grobda, an overhead view tank 
game, isn’t much more than a 
one-player Combat with multiple 
enemies and a shield. In Mappy, 
the player becomes the title 
character, a mouse who must 
trap crooks and bounce between 
high-rise stories on trampoline. 
And (ugh) Dragon Buster is a very 
8-bit looking, side-scrolling 
dungeon adventure with virtually 
no nostalgia factor and absolutely 
no redeeming gameplay. 

As in the first Museum disc, 
the games are presented using 
their original code running 
through a JAMMA emulator, so 
again, the control, graphics, and 
sound are arcade perfect. The dip 
switches allow you to adjust the 
difficulty just like the original 
arcade boards, and you get the 
original cabinet artwork for each 



Namco Museum vol. 2 lacks the 
class of the first volume 


game. Also, the first-person, 
Doom-style museum is included to 
look at the game’s memorabilia, 
but like before, the loading time 
involved in looking at the exhibits 
is atrocious. 

Only the most die-hard classic 
game collectors will want this 
disc, and they’ll only want half of 
it. Namco should more closely 
consider the future line-up in its 
classic series. 

Rating: ★★ 

NASCAR Racing 

Publisher: Sierra 
Developer: Papyrus 

This title isn’t for the racing fan 
who enjoys cool scenery. It’s not 
for the racing fan who wants to 
be seen in the hottest car. It’s 
not for the racing fan who wants 
to leave other racing game fans in 
the dust. NASCAR Racing is for 
the die-hard stock car racing fan 
who loves NASCAR so much they 
don’t care what kind of package 
it comes in. Everyone else, well, 
you’re out of luck. 

The game includes all the 
usual racing extras: driver stats, 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 























"A Perfect 10!" 

Computer Player 


35 More Reasons To Buy Descent IT 


20 New Levels 
10 New Enemy Robots 

Mission Builder/Level Converter/Robot Texture Editor 



Original Descent II Plus The 3D Accelerated Version 


And You Need 



il Descent III Releases 




This Time. 

Vou're Going nil The Way Doom 


BOOT/CD-ROM Today 


* *V 



"The sequel of the year" 

Computer Game Review 


"5 out of 5 Stans!" 


Computer Life 




■up 


1996 Parallax Software. All rights reserved. Mission Builder © 1996 Interplay Productions. All rights reserved. Descent, 360°, and Interplay are 
trademarks of Interplay Productions. All rights reserved. Portions of Mission Builder © 1996 Bryan Aamot. All rights reserved. 
INTERPLAY PRODUCTIONS 16815 VON KARMAN AVE. IRVINE, CA 92606 


The Infinite Abyss, 
Includes the award winning 
Descent II with an optional 
3D accelerated version and 
the all new Vertigo Series. 

50 levels, 40 enemy 
robots, easy to use utilities 
like the Mission Builder, 
Level Converter and the Robot 
Texture Editor your Descent 
experience is infinite. 


Parallax 

Software 










NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


rating playstation 


258 


famous tracks like Sears Point, 
three levels of stock cars to 
choose from, and myriad details to 
keep track of for each car — tire 
status, fuel, and so on. From a 
graphics standpoint, however, 
things are less than spectacular. 
While stock car racing necessarily 
involves only one type of car, the 
designers could have put a little 


more effort into the surroundings 
— the backgrounds are as boring 
as the cars. Another big minus for 
this title is the lack of a two- 
player mode; what fun is it if you 
can’t challenge your best buddy to 
a few laps? 

Undiscriminating stock car 
fans may appreciate NASCAR 
more than some, but the average 


Joe will not be awed by what 
passes for realism in this game, 
and instead just get a hankering 
to play The Need for Speed. So, 
unless you’re the kind of person 
who gets a rush doing fifty laps 
on the same oval track (and you 
know who you are), this title isn’t 
for you. 

Rating: ★★ 


PlayStation 

WILLING 
AND 
ABEL 

Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain 

Publisher: Activision 

Developer: Crystal Dynamics/Silicon Knights 

Fantasy adventures with an overhead view have 
been done before, but not like this. With a stylish, macabre storyline and innovative design 
elements, Legacy of Kain immerses the player in an all-consuming bloodbath of vengeance. 

As Kain, a nobleman turned sword-wielding vampire, the player returns from the dead on a 
grim quest to avenge his assassination. Employing some RPG elements and arcade-style combat 
reminiscent of Gauntlet, Kain’s world is huge and extremely gory. The game unfolds through 
exploration of crypts, towns, castles, and forests. The player must collect spells and weapons and 
constantly feed upon the blood of enemies and innocent townspeople to remain alive. The anti- 
hero approach, storyline, and unique design elements tie in well with the gameplay — Kain’s 
vampiric power of shapeshifting enables him to become, among other things, a bat, a werewolf, 
and even disguise himself as a mortal human to overcome different obstacles. His attack spells 
are particularly morbid, including numbers like Flay, Implode, and Decay, which result in some 
particularly gruesome death animations. Along with some morbidly explicit rendered FMV, and 
Kain’s angst-ridden monologues (the voice acting is over the top, but excellent), this game earns 
every bit of its "Mature" ESRB rating. 

Kain, in the starring role, is the only pre-rendered sprite, and his appearance changes as he 
acquires armor and weapons. All supporting characters appear as traditionally hand-drawn sprites. 
More notable, however, are the painstakingly detailed backgrounds and lighting effects that 
complement magic spells. The sound effects are excellent, from the clanging sword, to the eerie 
music, to some very well-voiced (if occasionally 
repetitive) dialogue. 

The game does have some minor faults and 
annoyances: at times the 
scrolling fails to keep pace with 
your character. Also, when many 
light-generating sprites appear on 
the screen, the game meets with 
some slowdown, and the amount 
of load time as Kain moves 
between areas is noticeable and 
at times intrusive. This takes 
away from the game. 

These troubles aside, it took 
Crystal over two years to finish 
this game, and no wonder, 
considering how the high production standards 
were maintained with such consistent quality 
over such a large game world. The wait for this 
bloodsucking hero was well worth it. 

Rating: ★★★★ 



Feeding on sleeping villagers (left) and crossing 
blades with a local soldier is all in a day’s work 



NCAA Gamebreaker 

Publisher: Sony Interactive 
Developer: Sony Interactive 

From the developers of NFL 
Gameday comes the first 32-bit 
college football game. 
Gamebreaker takes all that made 
Gameday a success and mixes in 
all that makes college football a 
unique experience to create the 
best college football game yet. 

The only major criticism to be 
leveled at the original Gameday — 
the somewhat slow pace — is 
gone. The engine has been tuned, 
and Gamebreaker runs 20% faster 
and even features adjustable play 
speed. However, the major 
advancement in Gamebreaker is 
with the computer Al. Each season 
game you play goes into the 
system’s memory, so the next 
computer team you play will have 
a full scouting report on the plays 
you tend to call. In theory, this is 
the biggest advancement in sports 
games Al in years. Other new 
additions, such as the players’ 
uniforms getting muddy in the rain 
or knocking over the chain gang 
on a sweep, just add to the overall 
realism. Gamebreaker is the best 
college football game on the 
market and one of the best 
football games period. 

Rating: ★★★★ 

Perfect Weapon 

Publisher: ASC Games 
Developer: Gray Matter 

From the developer who brought 
us such unpleasantries as Foes of 
Ali for the 3DO and NHL All-Star 
Hockey for the Saturn, Gray 



Perfect Weapon offers solid 
enemies... but poor, poor control 


Matter’s first combat-adventure 
for the PlayStation is grand in 
design but less than impressive in 
execution. 

As champion fighter Blake 
Hunter, who’s been kidnapped by 
aliens, the player must explore 
five moons, fighting enemies in 
hand-to-hand combat at every 
turn. From the third-person 
perspective, you explore 3D 
environments in a similar fashion 
to Resident Evil. However, the 
shifting camera in this game is 
atrocious in comparison, harking 
back to the creaky mechanics of 
the Alone in the Dark series, 


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NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


260 


rating playstation 


which becomes especially 
distracting while fighting. 

Graphically, the polygonal 
characters are well-designed, and 
the rendered backgrounds, 
especially in the final world, are 
excellent. But the foreground can 
be confusing to move around in, 
in part due to the game’s biggest 
flaw, the control. The two control 
modes enable you to either 
explore, as in Resident Evil, or 
fight, with mechanics that 
attempt to parallel Tekken. 
There’s a new wrinkle in that, 
unlike most fighting games, the 
player faces multiple enemies. 
However, the control in both 
modes is ploddy, and lining up on 
your opponents is not nearly as 
intuitive as it should be. 
Otherwise, the game presents 
some attractive music and sound, 
with good voice samples. The 
load time between areas in a 
level is virtually nonexistent. 

In total, Blake lists over 100 
moves that he acquires through 
beating new enemies. But the 
elementary movement is stiff. 
Coupled with poor camerawork, 
this “could have been good" title 
becomes frustrating and 
borderline average. Considering 
how far this game has come 
along in development, it’s a 
shame it wasn’t finished right. 
Rating: ★★ 

Spot Goes to Hollywood 

Publisher: Virgin Interactive 
Developer: Burst 

The mascot in question is the 
Cool Spot of 7UP fame, the 
nondescript product 
representative second only to 
Jack in the Box’s bubble-headed 
Jack in dullness. This is, of all 
things, a 32-bit port of the 16-bit 
title that annoyed us last year, 
with no significant upgrades or 
extras. This is a real letdown, 
considering that the original Cool 
Spot of a few years ago was one 
of the better side-scrolling action 
titles of its era. 

The current concept is this: 
our hero is inadvertently sucked 
into a movie camera and 
becomes the star of several 
adventures based on movie 
plotlines — a Captain Hook-like 
battle on a ship, a trip through a 
haunted house, and of course the 
obligatory Indiana-Jones-inspired 
mine cart level. But no matter 
what the setting is, the objective 
stays the same: pick up spots, 
avoid or kill bad guys, and get 
through the level. Nothing new 
here. At least Mario and Sonic 
have some personality, and the 
designers of those games 
understand that half the fun is 
the lure of exploration and the 
thrill of discovery. Spot just goes 
through the motions. 


To add to the list of 
grievances, since Spot is in 
isometric view and mostly moves 
in diagonal directions, control is a 
real pain, and the ability to 
switch the controls to diagonal 
settings just makes it more 
confusing. Any 10-year-old (and 
it’s hard to imagine anyone else 
being interested) is bound to 
throw down the controller in 
disgust after, say, the umpteenth 
failure maneuvering Spot along a 
narrow rope bridge. 

Go back to pushing pop, kid. 
Rating: ★ 

Star Gladiator 

Publisher: Capcom 
Developer: Capcom 

It’s been suggested that Star 
Gladiator, Capcom’s first 
dalliance in the field of 3D 
fighting, is little more than a way 
to test the waters for upcoming 



The shape of Capcom to come? 
3D warriors in Star Gladiators 


3D Street Fighter games such as 
Street Fighter Gaiden. While there 
is probably some truth to this 
theory, Star Gladiator is a pretty 
good game all on its own. Ground¬ 
breaking in its use of animated 
backgrounds, the galactic 
environment of Star Gladiator 
could only be described as an 
extremely lively one. Whether 
fighting in the middle of an active 
airfield or in the midst of an 
electrified downtown area, the 
backgrounds are nearly as 
interesting to watch as the fights 
themselves. 

As for the actual fighting, the 
game doesn’t carve much new 
ground for itself. It does, however, 
perform at peak levels of 
efficiency in just about every 
established category of 3D 
fighting. From the lightning-fast 
3D movement to the elaborate 
throw moves, Star Gladiator cuts 
no corners in gameplay. The game 
does manage to introduce a new 
(derivative though it may be) 
combo system that enables the 
characters to branch combo 
chains in a number of different 
directions, giving it that much 
more of a life span. What’s 
missing from Star Gladiator, 
however, is that magical spark 
that separates the good from the 


great. Certainly, the game is an 
encouraging sign of things to 
come, but Star Gladiator just 
doesn’t feel like the dead-on 
classic we would expect Capcom 
to produce as it moves into the 
3D future. 

Rating: ★★★ 

StarWinder 

Developer: Mindscape 
Publisher: Mindscape 

Futuristic racing games are all 
the rage since the success of 
Wipeout on the PlayStation. 
Unfortunately, no other title has 
approached Wipeouts visuals or 
exceptional gameplay, and 
StarWinder is no exception. 

The game begins with an 
initial round of tracks that are 
little more than time trials, but it 
quickly moves into full races with 


other characters, drones, and 
various other obstacles thrown in 
as chaos factors. Running along 
each track is a red power rail, 
and staying close to the rail gives 
your ship additional power to fly 
faster than it ordinarily would. It’s 
tricky, because the rail doesn’t 
always stay straight and narrow, 
often curving around with a life of 
its own, and most of the 
obstacles are, predictably, 



Equal parts fast racing and 
spinning nausea: it’s StarWinder 


located near the rail. The tracks 
themselves range from 
completely closed caverns (the 
beginner levels) to largely open 
contorting tracks. Despite this, 
players aren’t limited to the width 
of the track, and it is possible (at 
times even necessary) to 
completely leave the track. 

The soundtrack is excellent 
and could have easily fit into a 
big screen sci-fi flick, while the 
audio samples of lasers firing, 
explosions, and ship fly-bys are of 
a similarly high quality. Although 
the premise of an intergalactic 
race is adequate and the 
abundant texture maps are pretty, 
the control of the ships and play 
mechanics simply aren’t varied or 
engaging enough to hold one’s 
attention for very long. 

Rating: ★★★ 


Steel Harbinger 

Publisher: Mindscape 
Developer: Mindscape 

Rarely do shoot ’em ups 
effectively combine storyline and 
action, but Steel Harbinger has a 
plot that actually enhances 
gameplay rather than just serve 
as an excuse to blow things up 
(although, when all is said and 
done, the object of the game is 
still to blow things up — no one 
ever said that wasn’t fun). 

In the year 2069, the Earth is 
being invaded by pods that can 
transform organic matter into 
mutant metallic beings bent on 
destroying humanity. Set in a 
three-quarter isometric view with a 
third-person perspective, you are 
Steel Harbinger, a female half¬ 
human, half-steel mutant in a 
combat G-string who happens to 
be the only hope for saving 
humans from annihilation. The 
selection of weapons is 
impressive, including a grenade 
launcher and a plasma 



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NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


rating saturn 


rifle, although many of the 
choices seem redundant. 

Variety can also be found in 
the levels, most of which are set 
in major U.S. cities. The objective 
in each is roughly the same — 
save as many humans as 
possible, activate the Net Node 
Center, and teleport to another 
level. However, the designers 
managed to add unique features 
to each level, like hopping in a 
truck to tool around in Houston, 
or driving a boat around water¬ 
logged Los Angeles to find and 
rescue power plant workers. 

Interaction with the 3D 
environment is fairly extensive. If 
the character walks around or 
into a building, the walls become 
transparent. Branches can be 
shot from trees and fire hydrants 
can be burst with a few well- 
aimed shots. Overall, the fast 
action adds up to fairly 
entertaining gameplay well worth 
a peek or two. 

Rating: ★★★ 

Street Racer 

Publisher: UBI Soft 
Developer: Vivid Image 

Street Racer was originally a 16- 
bit title, a conscious take on 
Mario Kart. As such, it wasn’t 
bad, but then again, it wasn't 
great either. In its 32-bit 
incarnation, however, while 
having changed very little in 
concept, it has been upgraded 
substantially in execution. The 
result is a game that, like the 
classic Micro Machines (or for 
that matter, Mario Kart), isn’t the 
most technically advanced or 
groundbreaking title of the 
season but still manages to be 
just plain fun. 

And it’s not as if the 
developers don’t pile on the 
options: eight cartoonish 
characters (plus one hidden), 24 
tracks (plus three hidden), and 
multiplayer modes up to eight 
players in either split screen or 
“micro mode,” a top-down view 
reminiscent of Micro Machines, in 
which a car that falls behind the 
others is automatically moved 
back into the pack (at a penalty, 
of course). The controls are 
smooth and intuitive, the 
animation is sprite-based but 
fluid, and the tracks are devious 
and challenging. In short, there’s 
little here you’ve never played 
before, but there’s a lot of it, and 
it’s put together extremely well. 
Rating: ★★★★ 


262 


Tempest X 

Publisher: Interplay 
Developer: High Voltage 
Software 

Occasionally, a timeless gaming 
concept announces its presence, 
and Tempest is, without a doubt, 


one of them. Psychedelic master 
Jeff Minter dusted off this classic 
for the Atari Jaguar in 1994, and 
Tempest 2000 almost single- 
handedly sustained the failing 
system for almost a year. 



There’s not much that’s new, but 
Street Racer sure is fun 


Now High Voltage Software 
has upped the adrenaline factor 
again with the PlayStation 
conversion, Tempest X. The game 
has a number of graphical 
enhancements including light- 
sourced, animated, texture- 
mapped webs, new enemies, a 
remixed Redbook audio 
soundtrack, some entirely new 
tracks, new power-ups, and more. 
At the same time the trippy, melt- 
o-vision and pixel-shatter effects 
that were so groundbreaking on 
the Jaguar have been retained. 

As with the original, the 
frantic pace of the game all but 
puts the player in a trance. 
Control is responsive, and replay 
value very high with literally 
dozens of levels. Games may be 
saved via a “key,” enabling 
players to continue at the last 
odd level they completed. Add a 
paddle controller and a coin box, 
and Tempest X could still stand 
proudly in any arcade. 

Rating: ★★★★ 


Tobal No. 1 

Publisher: Sony CE 
Developer: Dream Factory 

It isn’t often that a new game 
establishes itself as a major 
player in an established genre, 
but that is precisely what Tobal 
No. 1 has accomplished with its 
innovative gameplay and unique 
graphic approach. 

Although the character 
design in Tobal No. 1 isn’t as 
readily appealing as those in the 
Street Fighter or Virtua Fighter 
series, each of the fighters 
possesses a particular fighting 
style that’s perfectly 
complemented by an original 
control interface that is 
instinctive, yet challenging. 

Moves are initiated by an 
elegant combination of directional 
taps and button inputs that 
enable the character to jump, 
block, hold, throw, and attack. An 
in-depth counter system even 
allows for reversals that are 
influenced by such factors as 
angle of attack and the actual 
physical makeup of the opponent. 
As if these elements weren’t 
enough, Tobal No. 1 also allows 
for unrestricted movement in the 
game’s 3D environment by the 
player’s choice on the directional 
pad. The entire control interface 
is simple, intuitive, and brilliant. 
There is little to complain about 
in regards to Tobal No. 1, but the 
computer Al in one-player mode is 
relatively simple and doesn’t 
come close to matching the 
entertainment value provided by 
two-player battles. 

The unique approach 
displayed in Tobal" s gameplay is 
also mirrored in the approach 
taken for the game’s graphics. 
Instead of following the popular 
trend of featuring fully rendered, 


2709*3 ; ' a 



JUMfc* . 


“Whoa man, I’m peakin’ again... Uh oh... Hang on... Wait a minute... 
Everything’s okay. Turns out I’m just playing Tempest X... No problem...” 



Smooth and fast and no textures 
— Tobal No. 1 has a real kick 


texture-mapped characters, the 
developers of Tobal instead opted 
for flat-shaded graphics and high 
resolution, seamless 60fps 
animation. The result may look 
somewhat Spartan, but the trade¬ 
off is gameplay that is the 
epitome of smoothness. 

Rating: ★★★★ 


Saturn 


Krazy Ivan 

Publisher: Sega 
Developer: Psygnosis 

Not one of Psygnosis’s best 
efforts even on the PlayStation, 
Krazy Ivan for the Saturn is the 
perfect middle-of-the-road title. 
The emphasis of this first-person 
shooter is on battling one or two 
larger mechs at a time, as 
opposed to the swarming 
beasties of typical Doom-style 
games, and in this the game 
shows some promise. Battling 
single foes does enable the game 
to successfully implement 
different fighting styles for each 


H * & 20 -; 




First-person shooting in a barren 
wasteland is pretty much the 
extent of Krazy Ivan’s appeal. 


of the enemies. Where the action 
falls short, however, is in the 
barren and repetitive nature of 
the environments. Though the 
map-screen would have you 
believe you are traveling all over 
the world to do battle, each 
exotic location inevitably ends up 
looking a lot like the surface of 
the moon. On balance, the game 
never makes it over the hump of 
mediocrity. 

Compared to the original 
PlayStation version, Krazy Ivan for 
the Saturn is a reasonably close 
port, but, as usual, the graphics 


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NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


rating saturn 


264 


Saturn 




SNAKES 


ALIVE 


More than just “ Virtua Fighter with strange characters,” 
Fighting Vipers is top notch 


Fighting Vipers 

Publisher: Sega 
Developer: AM2 

Considering the success Sega achieved with Virtua Fighter 2, Fighting Vipers has 
the unenviable challenge of being the follow-up to what many considered to be the 
greatest fighting game of all time. In fact, initial impressions of those who have 
played Fighting Vipers often is “It’s VF2 with weirder characters." But the cookie- 
cutter is one tool that the AM2 development team has little familiarity with, and 
despite similarities to VF2, Fighting Vipers boasts a plethora of added gameplay 
elements and strategic possibilities that gives the game a character all its own. 

Graphically, Fighting Vipers lacks some crispness and detail that marked the 
remarkable console conversion of Virtua Fighter 2. But Fighting Vipers does boast 

- 1 true light-sourcing, which gives the game a grittier, edgier appearance over VF2’s 

clean, almost cartoonish graphics, and pushes the Saturn to the edge of its capabilities. What has not been compromised in the conversion 
to the home is the amazingly smooth animation of the characters. 

But what truly distinguishes Fighting Vipers is its depth of gameplay. As opposed to VF2, 
every character in Fighting Vipers has the ability to move out of the plane of battle and into the 3D 
environment. Ring outs are replaced with walls that add a whole new dimension to strategy by 
letting players inflict additional damage by slamming opponents into them, and some characters 
have the ability to climb the wall to initiate special moves. As if that weren’t enough, there are 
numerous enhancements in Fighting Vipers that augment the already spectacular VF2-based control 
interface. Mid-air throws, unique wall-utilizing attacks, ground attacks, reversals, power-up attacks, 
and, of course, body armor (and special armor destroying attacks) are just a few of the elements 
that mark the intense and punishing nature of the gameplay in Fighting Vipers. 

Any complaints about Fighting Vipers can be considered nit-picky at best. The single-player 
game is just a tad easy, and the number of characters is merely adequate as opposed to generous. 

But all in all, Fighting Vipers is a game that adds to an already impressive gameplay foundation. The i The armor and enclosed rings add 
ultimate crime would be for this title to be overshadowed by the reputation of its predecessor. Mark new, unique strategic elements 

our words, VF2 is one of the best games of all time, but Fighting Vipers nearly eclipses it. I___ 

Rating: ★★★★★ 


Saturn 




BASES COVERED 


World Series Baseball II 

Publisher: Sega 
Developer: Sega (Japan) 

This follow up to last years groundbreaking World Series Baseball could have been 
either a major disappointment, or simply the same game with new stats. 
Thankfully, it’s neither. WSBII features every major league stadium (up from four 
last year) and each one looks perfect. Even the buildings in the skyline have been 
perfectly recreated. The amazing detail makes each new park you play in a new 
experience. There simply isn’t a baseball game anywhere that looks this good. 

As for the play, the arcade-style pitching is back but has been toned down 
considerably. You can no longer move 
a pitch in two directions, and the 
amount of curve isn’t nearly as 
unrealistic. The only major error from 
the original WSB for the Saturn that 
didn’t get completely corrected is 
the complete inability to get a double 
or triple — even a ball in the gap still 
doesn’t guarantee a double. 


No this isn’t a picture from the ALCS, it’s actual 
gameplay! Mighty impressive and a sheer joy 


The Green Monster and all the league 
stadiums are captured like never before 


There’s no baseball game that looks, plays, or feels as good as WSB II. The graphics are so 
crisp and clean that it makes the competitors look like 16-bit games. The two-player game is 
incredible and, while the one-player game may lack some sim options, the speed of play enables you 
to get through a season without becoming bored. A must for any baseball fan, WSB II is at the top 
of this year’s baseball line-up. 

Rating: i 


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NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


rating pc 


266 


are not quite as sharp and the 
special effects have been 
modified (or perhaps it’s more 
accurate to say down-graded). 
The gameplay, however, is still as 
sharp as ever, making this a 
respectable but unexciting game 
for the Saturn library. 

Rating: ★★ 

Quarterback Club ’97 

Publisher: Acclaim 
Developer: Iguana 

Clearly the graphics don’t 
compare favorably with Madden 
’97 or Gameday, but they are a 
huge improvement on last year’s 
version. The problem is that the 
players are extremely pixilated in 
both the Saturn and PlayStation 
versions, but at least the 



Quarterback Club is good, but 
not good enough for the majors 


PlayStation version has brighter 
colors. The developers also spent 
almost no time on the 
presentation of the game, which 
is something Madden ’97 has 
perfected. The last and most 
crucial problem with QBC '97 is 
the slow gameplay. Compared to 
Madden '97, it looks like the 
players are running underwater. 

Although the slowed play 
prevents QBC ’97 from being the 
best football game of the year, it is 
without a doubt the most 
important game of the year. The 
advances made in tackling are 
astonishing and should be in every 
football game. The players don’t 
just run into each other and then 
lie on the ground; instead the 
players actually wrap their arms 
around the ball-carriers and drag 
them to the ground. And what’s 
even more amazing is that it’s not 
the same animation each time, it 
depends on what part of the body 
the tackle is made at and the 
momentum of the players. 

Throw in the ability to play as 
any player on the team, numbers 
on the jerseys, and some 
impressive Al, and you have what 
is the best one-player football 
game available. However, until 
the developers can speed up play 
and clean up the graphics, QBC 
isn’t the compelling two-player 
experience that Madden '97 is. 
Rating: ★★★ 


Street Fighter Alpha 2 

Publisher: Capcom 
Developer: Capcom 

If there’s one thing the Saturn 
can do especially well (even 
better than the PlayStation and 
N64, in fact), it’s 2D fighting 



Capcom’s Street Fighter Alpha 2 
is the same thing, only better 


games. Combine this cozy 
technological environment with 
Capcom’s long history of 
expertise in the field and you’re 
likely to come up with yet another 
exceptional 2D fighting 
experience. This is, of course, the 
case with the latest installment 
of the Street Fighter Alpha series. 

The most significant 
enhancement made by this sequel 
to a prequel is the introduction of 
a custom combo system. Beyond 
the traditionally sound combo 
system in use in all the Street 
Fighter games, this new feature 
enables players to jump into what 
can only be described as "super- 
hyper” mode during which they 
can unload a string of moves sure 
to rattle even the most advanced 
players. 

Outside of the custom combo 
system and a few other minor 
enhancements, the game is 
pretty much just more of a good 
thing, but at least it’s that. The 
animation is top-notch, the 
characters are extremely well- 
balanced, and the action is as 
fast as you’d ever want it to be. If 
you’re a fan of the series, you 
probably didn’t wait around to 
read this review anyway, and if 
you’re not yet a fan, it may be 
about time you become one. 
Rating: ★★★★ 

3D Baseball 

Publisher: TBA 
Developer: Crystal Dynamics 

The second and most recent 
sports title from Crystal 
Dynamics may not be the best 
baseball game on the market, but 
3D Baseball does contribute 
significantly to the genre. For the 
first time in a baseball game, the 
polygon players look real (with 
the exception of the skinny 
forearms), and the motion-capture 
really lends credibility to the idea 
of a polygonal baseball game. 


Seeing Jose Canseco step to the 
plate with his real stance is 
something we should start seeing 
in every baseball game. Other 
great animations like catching 
the ball and sweeping down for a 
tag are the best we’ve seen. 

Unfortunately, beyond the 
technological advancements, 3D 
Baseball is just an average game. 
The four phony stadiums are 
solid, but the play is a little slow 
and the simulation value can’t 
compare with front-runners like 
Triple Play ’97. 

Rating: ★★★ 


PC 


Circle of Blood 

Publisher: Virgin Interactive 
Entertainment 
Developer: Revolution 

George Stobbart is an innocent 
American tourist, out enjoying 
the wonders of Paris when he is 
literally rocked by an explosion 
at the cafe where he’s enjoying 
his afternoon coffee. As he 
investigates the explosion, the 
subsequent adventure changes 
the course of not only his life, 
but history. 

The graphics are beautiful, 
hand-drawn by artists formerly of 
Don Bluth’s studio, the outfit 
responsible for All Dog’s go to 
Heaven and laserdisc arcade 
games Dragon’s Lair and Space 
Ace. The ten-layer cel animation 
is fantastic, and character 
movements, scrolling, and 
cinematic cut-scenes are all a 
joy to watch. Much care has 
been put into integrating cut 
scenes with game play, and the 
player moves seamlessly from 
one to the other, with neither 
jarring breaks in the action nor 
major changes in graphic style or 
quality — a nice touch more 
designers should emulate. 

The story is rich in mystery 
and intrigue, taking the player all 


over Europe and into the Middle 
East. It involves the Knights 
Templar (a mystical religious 
order founded during the 
Crusades), some nasty killers, 
and more than few puzzles. 

And that’s where the game 
falls a little flat. The interface is 
simple, which is a good thing, 
but in general so are the puzzles. 
One or two may take you by 
surprise, but most are standard 
graphic adventure fare — find 
the object, use the object on 
something else. Still, while 
Circle of Blood may not be the 
toughest graphic adventure out 
there, its story and graphics 
make it well worth playing. 
Rating: ★★★★ 

Links LS 

Publisher: Access 
Developer: Access 

Links 386 has long dominated the 
PC golf market, but over the last 
year or so, it was beginning to 
show its age. However, Access 
hasn’t remained idle; the release 
of Links LS — wh&t was to be 
named Links Pentium — has put 



With Links LS, Accolade is once 
again leading the pack 


them once again at the top of the 
PC golfing heap. 

Links LS is a tour de force of 
PC graphics, able to support 
screen resolutions of 1600x1200 
or higher and up to 16.7 million 
colors. You don’t have to play in 
these resolutions of course, and in 



Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 












filled 


tension-soaked 


utterly frustrating and 


SELECT 


Offensive Coordinator. 


A back-breaking 


And it s all yours. 


NFL ‘97’s exclusive Play Editor feature lets you design your own plays and run them with any offense in the NFL. 

So you’re offensive coordinator, you’re head coach, you’re in charge of all 1,500 NFL players. Now all you need is the game. 
Sega Sports™ NFL ‘97. Play football like real football players play football. Only on Sega Saturn.™ 



Sega is registered sf*. the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Sega Saturn and Sega Sports are trademarks of SEGA. ©1996 SEGA. P.O. Box 8097. Redwood City. CA 94063 A-i nghts reserved. 
NFL team names, logos, helmet designs and uniform designs are registered trademarks of the team indicated. NFL and Super Bowl are registered trademarks of the NFL. Sega is officially licensed by NFL Properties. Inc. Sega is licensed 


1 by NFL Players ©1996 PLAYERS INC. 

















NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


rating pc 


268 


PC 


THE BOX 
STOPS HERE 




This here's Tex Murphy. He may not be much to 
look at, but he gets the job done 


The Pandora Directive 

Publisher: Access Software 
Developer: Access Software 

Tex Murphy is back, and in this six-CD, four-gigabyte video adventure, you can rest assured that 
there’s a whole lot more gameplay than in Under A Killing Moon, the first title in the series. This time, 

an all-star cast joins creator Chris Jones. For a 
CD-ROM title, this is one impressive group of 
actors: John Agar, of Fort Apache fame, joins 
Kevin McCarthy ( Invasion of the Body 
Snatchers), Tanya Roberts (Sheena, Queen of 
the Jungle), and Barry Corbin, 
the lovable Maurice Minefield from 
“Northern Exposure.” 

Perhaps surprisingly, the game itself is 
impressive as well. The three-dimensional 
interface is smooth, although it takes a bit of 
getting used to. The story is well-written, with 
sight-gags as well as some more subtle humor 
to add laughs to the suspense. There are two 
play modes: Entertainment and Game Players. 
In Entertainment mode, players have access 
to hints and can even bypass a particularly 
difficult puzzle. The Game Players mode 
The detail of the game is astounding, from the lush | allows no cheating and even throws in a 
furnishings to the starry skyline few extra puzzles. 

_I_I_I These puzzles, however, are the single 

biggest fault of the game. Some of them are just too difficult, requiring unbelievable stretches 
of imagination and leaps in logic to find the solution. It’s highly unlikely any player will finish 
the game without 
consulting the hint 
guide at least once. 

However, the rush 
of success after solving 
a difficult puzzle is 
almost — almost — 
worth the effort. The 
Pandora Directive mixes 
humor, adventure, and 
action into a well- 
crafted and well-acted 
whole. Adventure 
gamers couldn’t ask 
for anything more. 

Rating: ★★★★ 


If puzzles get too difficult, such as the Black Moon, 
it's possible to skip it by choosing to play in 
Entertainment Mode 


fact most people can’t, but this 
does mean the game’s graphics 
will be viable through several 
hardware upgrade cycles. 

Furthermore, Links LS 
supports and upgrades all the 
many popular add-on disks that 
were available for Links 386. 
Millions of these bonus courses 
were sold, so Links LS users won’t 
have to wait for new courses 
because dozens are already 
available. And it gives golf fans a 
strong incentive to pick up Links 
LS as opposed to the competition. 

Other features include 
customizable sound files and a 
variety of play modes from stroke 
play to skins; future add-on disks 
will feature new motion-captured 
golfers, new courses, and video 
tours of golf resorts. 

Probably the biggest knock 
against LS is its steep system 
requirements: you’ll want at a bare 
minimum a P90 with 16MB of 
RAM and a 2MB video card. But 
for the well-equipped golf fan, it 
doesn’t get any better. 

Rating: ★★★★ 

The Neverhood 

Publisher: Dreamworks 
Interactive 

Developer: The Neverhood 

What do you get when you take 
Gumby and add a bunch of point- 
and-click puzzles? You get The 
Neverhood, a graphic adventure 
that, while it tries really hard for 
laughs, is more often than not 
ground to a halt by the puzzles 
that make it a game. 

The interface is completely 
point and click, with no inventory 
or score to deal with. Most of the 
game is solving puzzles, from the 



While graphically stunning, The 
Neverhood doesn’t quite deliver 


slide-the-tile, Myst-like affairs to 
some more creative, and usually 
explosive, challenges, all in the 
service of guiding a gangly, 
strangely tubular-headed 
character named Klayton through 
a series of adventures. The 
graphics are indeed stunning — 
the design work is unique and 
inventive to say the least, and 
these oddly-shaped clay 
characters really come to life on 
the monitor. As long as you have 
at least the minimum Pentium 
75, it runs beautifully. 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 














PlayStation 


AVAILABLE NOW 


eiDOS 


Tomb Raider, Core, Lara Croft and her likeness and Eidos Interactive are trademarks of Eidos, Plc.©1996Eidos. 









NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


rating pc 


270 


PC 



Conversations are (above) created by 
choosing from a list of words and a tone of 
speaking. Fairly clunky at first, it becomes 
more streamlined when you get the hang 
of it. The towns (right) really make 
Daggerfall shine, especially since you can 
jump from roof to roof just for kicks 


THE 


OLDEST 


Daggerfall enables you to create your own 
character. You can even custom-create 
a new profession 


The Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall 

Publisher: Bethesda Softworks 
Developer: Bethesda Softworks 

Well, it’s been almost three years in the making, not the record for this industry, but plenty long enough. The obvious question is, was it 
worth waiting for? The opening screens aren’t exactly auspicious: the character creation system is similar to its predecessor The Elder 
Scrolls: Arena, although there are more options to enable players to more fully tailor game personas to their liking. Also, when the game 
starts, the first dungeon players face might seem a bit underwhelming — after all, the textures on the walls were mostly created three years 
ago, and they show their age. 

But start moving around. Kill a few creatures with a smooth stroke of the mouse. Hit that M key for an automap of the dungeon, and 
check out the fully 3D map. It takes some getting used to, but with a little practice, you’ll read dungeons like a book. 

And once you get to a city, the graphics don’t look nearly so primitive. Buildings are everywhere. Hundreds of people, with their own 
names and professions, wander the landscape. They all 
have a purpose in the world and will speak to you in their 
own personal way. As you explore Daggerfall, you’ll 
discover the world is whole, complete, self-contained, and 
fully detailed. Rumor has it that development finally ended 
only because the designers reached the limit of game data 
that could be stored on a single CD-ROM disk — this is a 
big world. The beta testers must have bought No-Doz by 
the case. 

Pointing out flaws is pure nit-picking: how come you 
don’t tie your horse up when you dismount? How come 
there’s no text-parser interface to let you ask characters 
about specific names or places not on the keyword list? 

But given that no computer game can completely mimic 
the ins and outs of real life, Daggerfall comes as close as 
anything ever has, and contains an exciting, heroic, 
suspenseful, and above all else, entertaining story. It’s a 
testament to the game, however, that you may or may not 
follow the story as you wish. Instead, simply carve a niche 
for yourself out of the world and live it. If you’ve been one 
of the many gamers waiting for the world of Tamriel to 
come alive again, the wait is over. And it is, hands down, 
worth it. 

Rating: ★★★★★ 



Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 














































^sssassa, 


CLASSIC TETRIS IS NOW AVAILABLE ON PLAYSTATION AND SATURN! 


FOUR EXCITING MODES: 


NEVER ENDING CHALLENGES 


»IC • HEAI 
LE • EDIT 


SONUS STAGES 
OWN PUZZLE IN 


discover: 

DESIGN YO 


JALECO USA,INC.685 Chaddi 
Visit Jaleport: http://ww«,Ja(i 


heeling, Illinois 60090 




COMPATIBLE WITH PLAYSTATt 
CONSOLES WITH THENTSC/UC 
DESIGNATION. 




Tetris© 1987 Elorg 
Original Concept & Design by i 
Tetris Licensed to the Tetris Compi 
Sublicensed to Jaleco Ltd. 

Tetris Plus© 1996 The Tetris Company 

Tetris© & Tetris Plus™ Sublicensed to Jaleco, Ltd. by the 

Tetris Company 

All Rights Reserved 


YOU'VE MOVED UP TO 32-BIT TECHNOLOGY., 
ISN'T IT ABOUT TIME YOUR FAVORITE GAME 
DID, TOO? ._ 


r 


TETRIS IS REALLY THE CLOSEST 
TO VIDEO GAMING PERFECTION 
THAT ANYONE HAS 
EVER COME." 













NEXT GENERATION December 1996 


272 


rating arcade 


Without a doubt, The 
Neverhood is a breakthrough in 
computer game art — it’s a world 
apart, with no real antecedants 
on PC, and a nice break from the 
glut of medieval fantasy and sci-fi 
backgrounds that normally mark 
gaming. It’s also very slowly 
paced, and the puzzles just aren’t 
exciting enough to carry it all the 
way through. 

Rating: ★★★ 

NHL ’97 

Publisher: Electronic Arts 
Developer: EA Sports 

The best-looking, fastest-moving, 
hardest-hitting hockey game on 
the PC is without a doubt NHL 
'97. This latest triumph from EA 
Sports features motion-captured, 
polygon-modeled characters that 
are unbelievably realistic. They 
shake their sticks, throw punches, 
and slam into each other like so 
many bowling pins skidding 
across the ice. And the game 
moves fast too — sometimes so 
fast, you can barely keep your eye 
on the puck. 

Control is simple and 
intuitive, and the selection of 
views will please even the most 
finicky player. Season and 
exhibition play, multiple difficulty 
levels, even player creation — it’s 
all there. You can set penalties, or 
even turn off icing and offsides if 
you want a really fast game. And 
with a Gravis GRiP system, eight 
players can play on two 
computers. Players tire, and the 
teams definitely play at their 
ability level — the Detroit Red 
Wings and the other good teams 
look like they know what they’re 
doing, while the San Jose Sharks 
look like, well, the San Jose 
Sharks, floundering about 
helplessly. 



EA Sports’s NHL ‘97 is easily the 
best hockey game for PC 


The fighting sequences are 
impressive at first glance, but the 
players punch too slowly and 
unimaginatively to get worked up 
about this. Maybe in the next go- 
round EA will add in a mini-fighting 
game, and the blood will really fly. 

The rules of hockey are easy 
to learn, particularly in a game 
like this. So if you’ve been looking 
for a good PC hockey game, look 
no further than NHL ’97. 

Rating: ★★★★ 


Arcade 


Arcade 

COMIC 

X-Men Vs. 

Street Fighter 

Publisher: Capcom 
Developer: Capcom 

Reaching into its rich 2D palette of fighting games, Capcom 
has possibly created one of the least original games it’s 
developed in a long while, X-Men Vs. Street Fighter. It’s best 
just to say that this game is a weird blend of fighting styles, 
with unexpected results. 

Employing the CPS2 board for the umpteenth time and 
maximizing its animation qualities and speed, the developers 
at Capcom have enabled two-player tag-team fights with 
choices of 17 players (eight X-Men and eight Street Fighter 
characters, plus surprise character Akura) in a game that 
weighs in favor of playing more like X-Men: Children of the 
Atom than SF Alpha II. In fact, playing X-Men Vs. Street 
Fighter is like playing Street Fighter Alpha on the strongest of 
steroids. Ken and Ryu are now able to Dragon Punch 15 feet 
off the ground; their fireballs are huge and damaging, while 
massive 15-hit aerial combos are the norm. This aspect is 
nicely enforced by the tag-team aspect that supports a wide 
variety of players as well as seeking out the opposing 
characters’ weaknesses. But this game may put off SF 
purists, because it leans more heavily toward the whirlwind 
button-mashing so prevalent in X-Men. 

New attack variations are also prevalent: hyper combos, 
advancing guards (and reciprocal guard breaks), Fusion 
Combos and Counters. The subtle Counters break characters 
free from super attacks, while the Fusion Combos are loud and 
damaging — both characters appear on screen at once for a 
full onslaught of projectile force. 

X-Men Vs. Street Fighter is a fun game, but it’s just a bit 
of an overdose of the 



Cammy Vs. Juggernaut (top) 7 It could happen... Capcom’s 
march in the direction of bigger and more explosive projectiles 
continues — enjoy it if you really feel the need (above) 


Macintosh 


Infocom Masterpieces 

Publisher: Activision 
Developer: Infocom 

Once again, Activision has re- 
released a “complete” collection 
of Infocom text adventures. 
Technically, it isn’t complete: 
Activision replaced the colorful 
manuals with e-documents right 
on the CD — score one for the 
environment and one against 
ease of use. Also, Shogun is still 
missing, although since it’s 
universally regarded as having 
sucked, that’s no great loss. 
However, with Arthur: The Quest 
for Excalibur and Journey finally 
making the leap onto CD-ROM, 
this collection can be considered 
functionally comprehensive 
This hybrid CD, which works 
on both PC and Mac, simply 
represents the pinnacle of well 
written, interactive fiction. If you 
want deep gameplay and want to 
see what adventure games could 
be (they certainly aren’t at this 
level today), you want this disc. It 
has 32 games, promising 1,200 
hours of gameplay (minimum) — 
not bad. And neither are the six 
additional bonus titles — original 
games that were winners of an 
annual Interactive Fiction contest 
held on the net. Very cool, and a 
gamer’s must-have. 

Rating: ★★★★★ 


SORRY! 

No new games 
were made 
available for 
review this month 
on the following 
systems 


Nintendo 64 
3PO 
Genesis 
Virtual Boy 
Neo Geo 
Super NES 


Next Generation OnUne, http://www.next-generation.com/ 
































You have the POWER. In this contest you don’t rely on the luck-of-the 
draw. You determine if you win or not. You win by outscoring others in a game of 
skill. Can you solve the puzzle below? Then you have what it takes. It looks simple, 
but it's only the start. Each of five more puzzles gets a little harder. But this time its 
all up to you. Stay in to the end with the highest score and the gear is yours. 
With whatever options you want. Do you have what it takes? Then play to win! 

Computer Contest Win a blazing fast computer with 200 Mhz Pentium, 
16 meg. RAM, 2.3 Gig. HD, 8X CD-ROM, 17" monitor, Windows 95, modem and more! 

Video Game Contest Play on the hi-tech cutting edge with this line-up: 
Sony Playstation; Sega Saturn; Virtual Boy; 3D0; and Nintendo 64! Get all five or 
trade the ones you don't want for CASH! Bonus options include: 33 inch monitor, 
$1,000 in games, cash, accessories and more! 


Media Rig Contest The Ultimate Gaming Environment, 40 inch monitor, 
130 watt receiver w/ Dolby Digital Surround Sound, and all components shown. 
Win DSS Satellite Receiver as a BONUS OPTION! This rig will blow you away!! 

We’re talkin’ GAMING HEAVEN! 

Directions. Fill in the Mystery Word Grid with words going across that spell 
out the Mystery Word down the side. Hint: use the Mystery Word Clue. 

In tile future. There will be four more puzzles at $2.00 each and one tie¬ 
breaker at $1.00 which will be sent to you by mail. You will have 3 weeks to solve 
each puzzle. We don't know how many will play but typically 55% will have the 
highest score possible score to Phase 1,43% to Phase II, 36% to Phase III, and 32% 
to Phase IV. The tie-breaker determines the winner. If players are still tied they will 
split the value of the grand prize they are playing for. 


Mystery 

Word 

Grid 



H 






E 



p 

I 

N 

C 

H 


R 




s 






WORD LIST and LETTER CODE chart 


PINCH ... 

..W 

PRESS.... 

...K 

BLAST... 

...A 

WRECK.. 

...D 

BREAK... 

...Z 

PUNCH.. 

...S 

SPRAY... 

...C 

TURBO.. 

....V 

STOMP . 

....T 

STAND... 

...R 

PRESS... 

....E 

DREAM. 

...O 

CRUSH.. 

.1 

SCORE.H SLANT.. 

MYSTERY WORD CLUE; 

....L 

CHASE.. 

....P 


WORLD RULERS HAVE IT AND IN THIS CONTEST YOU HAVE IT 


Vk&d ENTER ME TODAY, HERE’S MY ENTRY FEE: 

YVSOb □ ($3.00) Computer Contest 

□ ($3.00) Video Game Contest 

□ ($3.00) Media Rig Contest 

□ ($5.00) SPECIAL! Enter them all (SAVE $4.00) 

Name 


Address 


City 


State 






SEND CASH, M.O., OR CHECK TO: <9/ 

PANDEMONIUM, P.O. BOX 26247 
MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55426-0247 

VOID WHERE PROHIBITED • ENTRY DEA0LINE POSTMARKED BY FEB. 15TH, 1997 • ENTRY FEE MUST BE INCLUDED 
Only one entry per person. You must be under 30 years old to win. Employees of Pandemonium, Inc. and its suppliers are 
ineligible. Judges decisions are final. If judges are in error the sponsor's liability is limited to entry fees paid. Not responsible 
for lost or delayed mail. Open to residents of the U.S. and Canada. You can request Winners List and Official Rules by writing 
Pandemonium, Inc. 7204 Washington Ave. S., Eden Prairie, MN 55344. Merchandise names and models are trademarks of their 
respective companies who, along with this magazine, have no affiliation with this contest © 1996 Pandemonium, Inc. 















































NEXT GENERATION December 1996 



274 




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Only the Cool Need Apply 


PC, MAC, CONSOLE PROGRAMMERS: 


WE CHALLENGE VOU ! 

If you’re creative enough, you could win $100 
Write a function in ‘C’ to “creatively” shuffle a deck of cards. 


Send contest source code via email to resumes@interplay.com or via disc to the address below and includeyour 
resume. One winner will be chosen based on creativity and code stability by ourpanel of experts and will 
receive $100 and an Interplay T-shirt. Entry must be received by February 28tn, 1997. Winner will be notified 
by phone in March 1997. All submissions must be completely original material and become the property of 
Interplay Productions Inc. Submissions will not be returned. Offer void where prohibited. 

Opportunities also available: 2D/3D Artists/Animators • Producers 
Game Designers • Sr. Sound Designer • Field Recorder 

Send resume/samples/demo/entry: Development Coordinator, attn.:NG2 
16815 Von Karman, Irvine, CA 92606 email resumes@interplay.com 


WANTED: 

GAME PROGRAMMER 


RHYTHM & HUES STUDIOS, THE OSCAR WINNING VISUAL EFFECTS STUDIO 
WHOSE CREDITS INCLUDE BABE, BATMAN FOREVER, NUTTY PROFESSOR AND 
THE COCA COLA POLAR BEARS IS LOOKING FOR A GAMES PROGRAMMER TO 
WORK WITH OUR PROFESSIONAL STAFF IN OUR INTERACTIVE DEPARTMENT. 



RHYTHM & HUES STUDIOS 

5404 JANDY PLACE • LOS ANGELES, CA 90066 • FAX 310 448-7600 • ADAM@RHYTHM.COM 


























GREAT GAME IDEAS HAVE TO 
START SOMEWHERE. 


TO ENTER 

Write a review of a recent videogame in 500 wonb or 
less, expressing your ideas of how to improve the 
videogame using available technology. Submit your legi¬ 
ble review on 8 1/2” x 11” paper (no napkins please). 
You may include up to four 3” X 3” sketches or pictures 
to illustrate respective points of your review. Attach a 
cover sheet which includes your name, address, and 
phone number to UACT Scholarship Contest, P.O. Box 
418, Brisbane, CA 94005. The selection committee will 
choose a winner based on his or her ability to commu¬ 
nicate creative ideas within a cohesive, captivating, and 
articulate 


CONTEST 

Applicants must be at least 17 years 
high school diploma or the 
(GJLD.). 


Should the scholarship winner be 
legal guardian must sign all admission 
financial responsibility statement. 


Scholarship recipient must be able to 
of Scholarship Aptitude Test (SAT) with a 
score of 820 or evidence of ACT score, 
of 19 or they must agree to complete a 
(Wonderlic) test, to be administered by the 
minimum score of 17. 


Non U.S. residents must provide evidence of 
in English, and be prepared to provide proof of 
dal support while attending college upon 
of scholarship reward. 


One entry per person. Entries must be received by 
February 15, 1996. Entries become the property 
Generation and Interactive Development. 


The decision of the committee is final. 


Prizes awarded as described, no substitutes. 

Sponsors’ employees and their immediate families as 
well as students currently attending the University of 
Advancing Computer Technology are not eligible for 
prizes. 


WIN A $16,000 


Your great ideas aren’t worth 
the napkin you scribbled them 
on unless you have the skills 
to make them work. This is 
your chance to learn how 
to turn great ideas into 
great products. 


2ND PRIZE 

One second 
place winner 
will receive an eight week 
internship at Player 1. 


PLAYER 1 

Player 1 is a Los Angeles based software 
company currently developing games for 
the Nintendo64™. 


Id 


INTERACTIVE DEVELOPMENT 
Interactive Development is a Los Angeles 
based recruitment company for the game 
industry. Contact: Sean Lord 
ph: (213) 460-4900 fox: (213) 460-4911 


U N 1 


>uter Technology 


UNIVERSITY OF ADVANCING 
COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY 

Located in Phoenix, AZ, The University of 
Advancing Computer Technology is home 
to approximately 900 full-time students. 
Their Bachelor degree program includes 
course work in Adobe software, 3D studio, 
Fractal Painter, World Tool Kit, C and 
C++ programming, visual basic, and 
Macromedia software. 


HEM 







KONAMl 


THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME 
IS WAITING FOR YOU NOW! 


Konartii / Computer Entertainment Chicago Inc. 
(KCEC)/continues to lead the industry in quality 
entertainment software development for both 
Cqhstimer and Coin Op markets. We’ll give you the 
kind of leading edge equipment plus the no- 
holds-barred freedom you need to create tomor¬ 
row’^ hit games. Along with all of this you’ll get 
the rewards of a terrific pay and benefits pack¬ 
age. Relocation assistance is alsb provided. 


We are currently seeking: 

• Team / Group leaders 

• Designers and animators - 3D and SGI 

• Graphics and animation programmers 
C, C++, assembly 


For consideration, please submit your resume to: 
Konami Computer Entertainment Chicago Inc. 
Human Resources Dept 

900 Deerfield Parkway, Buffalo Grove, IL 60089 
Fax: (847) 215-5242 
E-mail: jcolello@konami.com 
http://www.konami.com 







Experience the Hottest Interactive 

Ritte in the Gaming Industry! 

* 


Activision has been burning rubber as one of the fastest growing 
interactive entertainment companies in the world. Consequently, we have 
super-charged job opportunities for high-octane individuals. 


product Manager 


Studio Recruiter 


You'll manage retail relationships with all 
channels of distribution in North America. 
Responsibilities include the management 
of our cooperative advertising, in-store 
promotions and merchandising services. 
You'll work with our sales force, product 
management teams and promotions 
department to create innovative trade 
programs with retailers of video games 
and computer software. Undergraduate 
degree required, MBA preferred. 


You'll be responsible for making sure that 
your titles sell through the roof. Extensive 
experience managing the marketing effort 
for interactive software is required. P&L 
budgetary experience is also critical and 
an MBA is preferred. 


Your job is to reel in the heavy hitters for 
Activision Studios. You should have 2-5 
years experience in technical and creative 
recruiting for an interactive games publisher. 
Interpersonal skills are definitely your 
strengths, and you should have a proven 
ability to meet deadlines (including those 
that continually change). 


Activision offers a competitive salary, stock option and benefits package. Send your resume and salary history 
Attn.: Human Resources, via fax 310.477.2735, e-mail hr@activision.com or mail to Activision, 11601 Wilshire Blvd. Ste. 300., L.A., CA 90025. 
Resumes with salary requirement given first consideration. No dupe resumes if faxed. No phone calls, please. EOE. Principals only. 





Think feu Can R 




ORIGIN 


Are you a (gj®inJ!>@ addict? Have you 
played every game out there 
and are still asking for more? Do 

you have a joystick growing out of 
the palm of your hand? 

If SO, 

♦hen EA ORIGIN 
YOU! 


Electronic Arts and Origin Systems are seeking 
computer knowledgeable gamers. We have 
testing and technical support positions available 
for individuals with strong knowledge or skills in: 

PC troubleshooting, customer service, PC gaming 
industry, EA and Origin games. 

Send your resume to: 

Electronic Arts Origin Systems, Inc. 

Attn: Human Resources-NG Attn: Human Resources-NG 
1450 Fashion Island Blvd. 5918 West Court Dr. 

San Mateo, CA 94404 Austin, TX 78730 

Fax: (415)513-7160 Fax: (512) 346-7905 

Email: resumes@ea.com Email:nvargas@origin.ea.com 

















Top Programming Talent 

Stormfront Studios is a leading developer of top-quality, award-winning 
games for multimedia and on-line markets. Stormfront has worked with 
top publishers such as Electronic Arts, Sony and America Online. Our 
titles include Tony LaRussa Baseball 3, Andretti Racing, Star Trek: Deep 
Space Nine, John Madden Football, and the America Online multi-player 
game Neverwinter Nights. We specialize in state-of-the-art sports simula¬ 
tions, edutainment, storytelling, arcade-style, and multi-player on-line 
games. The following opportunities are available: 

Lead Programmers (PSX & PC) l Sr. PC Game Programmer l PC Game Programmer 
Sr. PSX Programmer! PSX Programmer! Sr. On-line Programmer 
On-line Programmer! Sr. Saturn Programmer! Saturn Programmer 

If you enjoy finding creative solutions to complex problems and want to 
make a difference in this industry, we would like to talk to you. We are 
looking for talented, hard-working, self-motivated individuals who would 
enjoy collaborating with some of the top game and multimedia talent in 
the industry. Ours is an open environment of small, mixed-discipline 
development teams, where high standards are respected and contributions 
are recognized. Top pay, benefits and participation in the stock options 
program for our privately held company. 

STORMFRONT STUDIOS 

Attn: Marta Daglow i 4040 Civic Center Dr. i San Rafael, CA 94903-4191 
Phone:415-461-5845 i Fax:415-461-3865 
E-mail: MDaglow@aol.com i Website: http://www.stormfront.com 


w i t h the 



r 


The Hockey Development team.of 
Electronic Arts Canada [makers || 
of NHL* 96 PC and NHL*97 PC), is 
looking for top notch players to join 
our successful team. We have spots 
I on the bench for . . . 


ft 


/» 


ft 


ARTISTS 


3D ANIMATION, 3D MODELS, 2D, 
3D S MAX, ALIAS, SOFTIMAGE 


PROGRAMMERS 

W/AJ 95, PSX, MS4, 3D, 2D 



















Embark with us on a project so 
secret... it has its own sauce. 



Well, not really. 

But we're making something cool. Honest. 

Wanderlust Interactive, Inc. is currently seeking programmers. 

All candidates should have a strong knowledge of C++, STL and 

the Win32 API. 

Production Management Tool* (2 positions) 

Gfx Tools (3 positions) 

• Poet 4.0 in Client/Server configuration 

• Linear Algebra and Geometry 

• MS Office and MS Project automation 

• data-structures 

using VBA, Delphi and MFC 

• MFC and Ul programming 

• Exchange Client and Server (MAPI) 

Sound (1 position) 

programming using MFC 

• Musical Background (engineer or musician) 

• knowledge of software development 

• Psychoacoustic algorithms 

process models is a plus 

• DirectSound 

• IIS ISAPI 

> Knowledge of Miles Sound System a plus 

ODBMS (3 positions) 

Knowledge-Base (1 position) 

• distributed information stores 

• general expertise in knowledge 

• information duplication and synchronization 

representation 

• migrating objects 

• Prolog++ and knowledge inheritance 

• information shadowing 

Framework (1 position) 

• message based run-time binding 

• COM and Internet Explorer 3.0 Interfaces 

• strong OOD capabilities (knowledge of 

• Play-In API Netscape 

patterns or i unified notation a must) 

• knowledge of the Windows NT security 

Graphics Subsystem (3 positions) 

• PPro Assembler 

model a plus 

• MMX extension a plus 

Tools (2 positions) 

Class Library (1 position) 

• strong MFC 

• very strong OOD knowledge 

• Ul programming 

• data-structures and algorithms 

• Java 

« knowledge of at least three commercial 

• OpenGL 

• COM and Shell Interfaces 

class libraries 
« Smalltalk, Java, CLOS 

• DCOM and MS RPC 

Fax resume 

to Dept. 315, 

Wanderlust Interactive, Inc., 212.431.8807 

or mail to P.O. Box 832, New York, NY 10013 (no calls please) 

Go Wanderlust. 

Feed your brain. 

Intelligent 1 

mi & Came* 1 " 


TIBURON 

E^HTERTAI’HM E4fcTT 

4 

If you aren't with us, 
you're starting to look a lot like dinner... 




P- If 


f 






We are... For motivated programmers, 
artists, and network engineers. Join our school of talent 
that has been hard at work on such Electronic Arts games 
as Soviet Strike ™ and Madden NFL'97. 

Please submit resume and demo reel/code samples to: 
Tiburon Entertainment, HR Dept. 

P.O.Box 940427 * Maitland, FL 32794-0427 
(407) 660-6901 FAX • http://www.tibent.com 


















corresponding 

Writing letters is therapeutic! We want readers to enjoy the best mental health, so get those weighty 
thoughts off your chest. Contact us at: Next Generation Letters, 150 North Hill Drive, Brisbane, CA 
94005. Fax us: (415) 468-4686. E-mail us: ngonline@imagine-inc.com 



Everyday is a read letter day 


n cannot believe the 

comments made by Mr. 
Yamauchi of Nintendo on 
pg. 30 of NG 20. Maybe 
something was lost in the 
translation: “Most of the users 
who have bought 32-bit machines 



for ($280 to $370), I believe, were 
older game players with their 
own money to spend. But we 
won’t be making any money by 
going after those users. Nintendo 
will target younger users, 
elementary school or junior high 
school students, who can’t buy 
games with their own money.” 

Does this comment make 
sense to anybody? How can you 
gear a $250 game system with 
$70+ games to kids who would 
be just as happy running through 
a sprinkler in the front yard? 

Linda Ryan 
Laud23@gnn.com 

But this is exacdy the same 
strategy that got Nintendo 
where it is today — with $5 
billion in the bank, just in case. 



idn’t the same situation 
that is currently 
happening with Nintendo 


64 and Super Mario 64 happen 
with the Super NES and Super 
Mario World ? Didn’t Shigeru 
Miyamoto, his big budget, non¬ 
stop development team, and his 
great imagination create the best 
Mario game to date when the 
Super NES came out? And when 
the Super Nintendo did come 
out, wasn’t it the “most expensive 
console on the block”? Correct 
me if I’m wrong. 

farrell@newtech.net 


Yup, to a certain extent you’re 
right But many other big games 
— such as Ghouls W Goblins, F- 
Zero, and PilotWings — 
accompanied the Super NES’s 
launch phase. Nintendo 64 is 
relying on Mario far more than 
the Super NES had to. 


I don’t belive anyone hasn’t 
figured this out yet 
(e)nos backwards is 
son(e). “e” separated to be read 
as the letter E such as the “r u 
ready” slogan with ready depicted 
with a red “e”. Sony lives. Wow. 

jquirin@textron.com 


OK, but what about... 


D don’t think that “e-nos 
lives” refers to the 
bible. If you turn the 
two words around, you get 
“son-e sevil”. Move the space 
and spell it right, and you get 

“sonys evil”. Hmm.even if it 

isn’t “evil”, e-nos most likely 
stands for sony. Why else 
would there be a dash right in 
the middle of the word? 

Michael Gladstone 
gladston@svpal.org 


Does anyone else have anything 
to say? Or is that finally it? 


□ thought the Gallery in 
the September issue 
(NG 21) was great. I 
loved the art work involved in 
creating games. I hope you 
continue to use the Gallery to 
show more video game art. 

Jonathan Allen 
joallen@s I .montcalm.cc.mi.us 

We’re happy to oblige. Check 
out pages 97 through 102 for 
more of the Gallery. 


omputer simulation 
games have become 
very popular. The 
Gettysburg simulation, Nascar, 
IndyCar simulators, and SimCity 
to name a few. What all these 
games have in common is their 
intent to be as real as possible 
and also to educate and 
entertain. Recently, a simulation 
has been published by Interplay 
called Conquest of the New 
World. One might assume the 







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game to be historically accurate 
and tell of the horrors of the 
“explorers.” However, such an 
assumption would be wrong. 
Conquest, a word which one of 
its meanings is “to vanquish,” is 
guilty of sweetening history so 
that it may be packaged and sold 
as a game. 

We all know now that the 
once celebrated explorers were 
not as heroic as was once 
taught in school. However, the 
introduction of Conquest is full 
of pomp and circumstance and 
glorifies the role of these 
“explorers.” Conquest states that 
there was a time full of 
superstition when Europe 
brought the world out of the 
dark ages and into the age of 
enlightenment. People now 
realized the world was round 
and the mythical serpents that 
guarded the ends of the earth 
disappeared and the explorers 
and “empire builders” were 
born. Nothing is ever 
mentioned about the genocide 
perpetrated by these so-called 
enlightened people. 

Out of the several hundred 
nations that lived on Turtle Island, 
Interplay has chosen to represent 
Native Americans as three tribes: 
Hostile, Neutral, and Peaceful. 
Not only do the tribes and the 
people remain nameless, they are 
all clothed in stereotypical 
clothing and all live in Plains tipis. 
The land is randomly generated 
so there is not even historical 
relevance there either. There is 
no attempt at showing any battle 
strategies on either side, and the 
battlefield is like a tic-tac-toe 
board that is played like the 
childhood game of capture the 
flag. The explorer side has the 
flag of their country and the 
Native American side has a hoop 
with an animal skin string up 
inside it with feathers hanging 
down at the base of the hoop. 

When the player’s explorer 
encounters a tribe, he is given 
the option to either “Destroy,” 
“Send Missionary,” or leave 
them alone. When you find a 
Neutral or a Peaceful tribe, you 
may also trade with them. You 
can select “destroy” when you 
meet any of the tribes. Another 
example of their sweetening of 


history is that the player can 
capture members of other 
expeditions but may not capture 
Native Americans. Would people 
still want to play Conquest if 
Native Americans could be 
captured as slaves? Probably not. 
But not playing it is better than 
whitewashing history. 

The battle scenes are 
unrealistic. The Arawaks and 
many other tribes were not 
prepared for the armor, weapons 
and sheer numbers of these 
“explorers.” So how could this 
game even be very challenging? 



Interplay’s Conquest Innocent 
fun, or a distortion of history? 


Columbus wrote in his own logs, 
“I should be judged as a captain 
who went from Spain to the 
Indies to conquer a people 
numerous and warlike, whose 
manners and religion are very 
different from ours...” This is 
who the players of Conquest turn 
into. 

Perhaps there was no 
hostile intent while making 
Conquest. However, Interplay’s 
ignorance is appalling. The lure of 
money has caused Interplay to 
discard its sense of judgment 
How can a company make 
anything entertaining about 
genocide in the first place? The 
age rating for this game is for 
ages six to adults. Knowing how 
children nowadays watch movies 
and play games more than read 
history books, is this going to be 
American children’s introduction 
to Native American history? That 
the Europeans could have been 
defeated only if Native Americans 
had played capture the flag 
better? Interplay has done 
nothing but glorify these 


corresponding 


conquistadors. This holocaust 
must not be clouded; otherwise, 
it is as if it never happened. 

Morgan Hastings 
Morgan_Hastings/Papyrus. 
PAPYRUS@papy.com 


send you a photo if you want. 
It’s pretty cool and took only a 
day to make. 

Peter H. Pang 
Alias| Wavefront 
ppang@aw.sgi.com 


Z 

m 


O 

z 


$ 

CD 

3 

Gi¬ 

ro 


Interplay? Your response? 

D n regards to jason_p_ 
block@amoco.com’s 
letter about an arcade 
type joystick for a the 
PlayStation, my friend and I just 
finished building a game 
controller that works with the 
PS-X. We built the controller 
to be exactly like the arcade 
controls for the arcade games 
Robotron and Defender. But 
what’s really cool is that we set 
up switches so you can use two 
joysticks for Robotron, and then 
one joystick and the exact 
buttons for Defender. If you 
give me a mailing address (your 
work and your home), I can 


Good to see another satisfied 
customer. 

n n NG 21 did you guys 
rate AH-64D Longbow 
with five stars or with 
only four? It shows five stars, 
but they are black and not the 
usual red color. 

Tim Grauerholz 
PipBulls@aol.com 

Oops. Yup, AH-64D Longbow got 
five full stars (and yup, they 
should have been red). 

n NG 21, you answered 
that you thought I was 
being a little sensitive 
about swearing in videogames. 




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Acclaim Entertainment, Inc. assume no responsibility of late, misdirected, incomplete, or illegible entries. No mechani¬ 
cally produced entries are allowed. All mail in entries must be post-marked by January 15,1996. Void where prohibited. 
AWARDING OF PRIZES 

The following prize (with corresponding estimated retail values) is guaranteed to be awarded: One (1) 
Grand Prize winner will receive an NBA JAM' Extreme Arcade Machine. (ERV S4,000.00). Winner will be 
determined on January 31,1997 in a random drawing by Next Generation Magazine, Imagine Publishing, 
Inc. Odds of winning depend upon the number of all eligible entries received. Winner will be notified by 
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M m (I NEXT 4«laim 


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corresponding 


Well, maybe I am, but I’m 
definitely not the only one. Or, 
maybe it’s the other way 
around. From the letters I got, 
it seems as though your side 
seems sensitive about losing 
your precious swear words. All 
but one ended up being the 
type of letter where I get 
cussed out while being called 
immature and babyish, and 
that’s it. No reasons, no 
explanations, nothing but that. 

Maybe your audience, or at 
least the people who support 
you, aren’t as mature as you 
believe they are. I really don’t 
mean to offend anyone, but all 
of this contradicting stuff just 
helps to prove my point. 

All I want to get across to 
these companies is that there 
are profits being lost here, just 
because of something that is 
easily changed. There are simple 
substitutions here. Anyway, 
thanks for printing my first 
letter, and I send out a thank 
you to everyone who sent me 
their opinion, even to those who 
are against me, because, if 
anything, it made my own 
position stronger. 

Timothy Kish 
SilverHkl l@aol.com 

We respect your opinions 
Timothy, and we are well 
aware of the ignorant, juvenille 
minority who saw fit to 
respond aggressively to you. 
Unfortunately, someone 
making a stand (such as 
yourself) invariably attracts 
such attention. 

n must say that the use of 
phrases such as “blow 
the living shit out of 
your enemies” (NG 19, p. 90) is 
not necessary and detracts from 
the valuable content given. My 
overall opinion on the quality of 
your magazine is lowered with 
every issue. Please do what you 
can to correct this problem. 

Philippe Zautke 
<philz@primenet.com 

OK, this debate has been going 
on for a while now. So let’s 
sort it out once and for all. 
Next Generation is aimed at 
the older, more sophisticated 


gamer, and it is our belief that 
the vast majority of Next 
Generation readers 
appreciate being treated as the 
adults that they are — and that 
this occasionally does include 
adult languge. 

What do you think? If the 
vast majority of correspondence 
over the next few weeks 
demands that we remove such 
language, then we shall. 


PPH hen it first came out, 

1 Sega was advertising the 
Saturn as having two 
32-bit processors. You guys 
even mentioned twin Hitatchi 
SH-2s. Just recently, however, I 
saw a commercial that then said 
that Saturn had three 32-bit 
processors! Did Saturn get 
revamped, or what? 

Terry&Mary Ellen Foust 
75630.3235@compuserve.com 



Sega Saturn — how many 
processors does it really have? 


No, Sega’s advertising agency is 
using what it can to get a jump 
on PlayStation and Nintendo 64 
in its TV ads. Although Saturn 
does contain these components, 
the company essentially 
compares apples to oranges in 
its TV ads. These extra 
components don’t necessarily 
make it more powerful. 

Indeed, although all 
companies do this, Sega is 
probably the worst of the 
videogame bunch. We’re sure 
many of you will remember that 
when Saturn first launched, 
callers to the Saturn I -800 
Information line were told that 
“really, Saturn is a 128-bit 
machine” — because this was 
the number you got if you 
“added up” all its components. 

Unfortunately, this kind of 
practise is unlikely to disappear. 


n am writing this letter 
because I wanted to 
express my concern 
about Luigi. In all the Nintendo 
64s reviews and previews, I 
have not once heard the name 
Luigi spoken once in any of 
them. I mean, Mario and Luigi 
are like “peas and carrots”, you 
can’t have a Mario game 
without Luigi! So where is he? 

Vlnny 

103527.1106@compuserve.com 

P.S. Your list of 100 games was 
right on. I wouldn’t change a 
single title. 


reading his summary that states 
that advertising may pay the 
way for online gamers (since 
advertisers would cover 
operating expenses), I was 
surprised that Next 
Generation isn’t free, 
considering the amount of ads 
in it. 

Yale Evans 
yevans@mcs.net 

Because, of course, we have 
paper, print, distribution, 
transport, and retailer mark-up 
costs that web sites don’t incur. 


It’s strange, but we haven’t heard 
anything about Luigi either. 
Nintendo’s not talking, and on 
the subject responds with what 
can only be described as a 
“stony” silence. 

n was reading NG 21 
today, specifically the 
“Joyriding” article 
written by Bernard Yee. After 


EJ; 

V 


I ow — what an issue! 
Now, many mags 
wouldn’t have dared to 
put out an issue rating the top 
100 games of all times. Over 
all I liked it. 

John Sweeney 
jsween@osprey.unf.edu 


We dare to do what 
others fear to do. 


SB 




florae 

^ v ' * ■ 



NEXT GENERATION December 1996 












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ng 


Next Month 



Make your own PlayStation games 

Very little is known in the U.S. of Sony’s “Let’s 
Create” initiative — a Japanese program that 
enables gamers like you to make PlayStation 
games at home. Next month, Next Generation 
exclusively reveals Sony’s plans for Let’s Create 
in the U.S. and shows you everything you need to 
create your own hit games. 


Next Generation #25 

on sale December 17, 1996. 

Smart readers have already subscribed. To find out how you too can save money 
and guarantee your copy, turn to the insert between pages 144 and 145. 


287 


NEXT GENERATION December 1996 

























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